Tag Archives: M.D

Healthcare Reform: Tower of Babel Syndrome Part 1

Tower of Babel Syndrome: Lack of uniformity plagues health care delivery in U.S.

Part I

Vague laws, inconsistent regulations and lack of uniform health care standards contribute to the “Tower of Babel” syndrome in our nation’s health care system today. This modern-day Tower of Babel is causing chaos and disorder in our medical system. Different rules and standards apply across the U.S. for nearly all aspects of health care, with standards even differing among statewide organizations.

Bureaucratic red tape overburdens our health care professionals, hindering their work and driving up health care costs.

This article discusses our disjointed system and offers a model for solution.

A real world example of a modern-day Tower of Babel occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and state government officials argued over jurisdiction and control in their own bureaucratic languages, similar to how multiple languages caused confusion in the Biblical story. While victims of the hurricane could little afford to wait, bureaucratic red tape thwarted relief efforts. No victim cared about laws or insurance regulations or legal jurisdictions. All that mattered to them was receiving adequate health care.

Our health care system is currently no different than the bureaucratic Tower of Babel in New Orleans. A maze of red tape exists everywhere within the system, but several parts stand out:

Each state requires a separate license for doctors, nurses, technicians and therapists.
Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements differ on a state-by-state basis.
Malpractice laws and health laws also differ on a state-by-state basis.
Insurance claims, rates, rules and regulations and payments differ in every state and change with every insurer.
Physicians must pay duplicate staff dues and process cumbersome applications to every hospital and state where they work.
We, the tax-payers, are paying a high cost for lack of uniformity in the health care system, and yet are reaping few, if any, benefits.

These examples are only a few of the many overlapping standards and confusing regulations in our current health care system. Other examples include licensure in health care. It too varies on a state-by-state basis, but for no obvious reason. The licensure process does not address the special needs of each state’s population, including those with specific health issues, such as high cancer rates or prevalent respiratory problems.

The complexities grow even more confusing when examining health insurance. Some states approve more than 1,000 different health insurance plans for providers and patients. Many of these plans evolved from managed care, more aptly called “managed money,” with neither providers nor patients looking favorably on the health maintenance organizations (HMO) that helped create this albatross. The insurers and HMOs that sell the complex list of benefits to the public (called health insurance) get entangled in their own web, and must rely on legions of attorneys to sort through regulations — which differ in all 50 states.

A 2004 study by the Cato Institute reported that health care regulations cost Americans approximately $169 billion per year – or $1,546 per average household – and that the costs of the regulations outweigh the benefits by a ratio of 2-to-1.

One out of six uninsured people has excess regulatory costs to blame for their lack of health care.

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Limit government to cut corruption

Limit government to cut corruption
by Letters to the Editor Gloucester County Voices
Tuesday August 25, 2009, 3:00 AM

To the Editor:

An FBI agent has characterized New Jersey as the most corrupt state in the nation. The political culture in New Jersey must change. The only way to do that is to reduce big government in the state.

– From 2000 to 2007 New Jersey created 6,800 private-sector jobs, but created 55,800 public-sector jobs. The only growth industry in New Jersey is the. government.

– New Jersey ranks 50th in the United States in the job creation rate. About 79,000 private-sector jobs left the state in the last decade.

– An environment of high taxes and overregulation gives rise to excessive complexity for business to get funding and operate honestly. This foments a breeding ground for corruption. The result is that honest businesses get disgusted and flee the state.

The book, “The Soprano State: New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption,” states “there are all these little authorities that everyone has to go to for permission — too much government means too many opportunities for officials looking to cash in.

“Corruption thrives on unchecked conflicts of interest. A New Jersey mayor can also be a member of the state legislature and a partner in a law firm that benefits from legislation he writes. The public’s welfare is the last thing on the agenda.”

For example, former state Sen. Wayne Bryant, a Camden County Democrat, was found guilty of accepting a largely fabricated position at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, which enabled him to inflate his pension while he steered millions of taxpayer dollars to the school.

New Jersey has 566 municipal governments and 615 school districts, some of which don’t have students, but collect millions of dollars in local taxes and have paid administrations. New Jersey has more school superintendents than Maryland, Virginia and Delaware combined. According to “The Soprano State,” state government has 154,500 workers and local governments employ 444,000 workers.

In California, 36.7 million people pay $259 per capita to run their government, compared to $289 per capita paid by New Jerseyans — and California is going bankrupt despite paying out 10 percent less than New Jersey residents.

Pennsylvania pays only $182 per capita, or 37 percent less than New Jersey to run its government. Pennsylvania has a greater population approaching 12.5 million. New Jersey has about 8.6 million people. This is simply unbelievable.

Politicians employ their supporters and ensure their loyalty with good pay and pensions totally out of line with the private sector. The result is there are fewer people putting money into the treasury and more people taking money out. No wonder New Jersey is in a state of financial Armageddon.

The cancer that affects this state must change. A limited government and a freer economy promote an ethical government and a productive economy.

Robert Villare
Republican Assembly candidate
District 3
West Deptford Township

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Meet the Candidate : Doctor Robert Villare, M.D

Doctor Robert Villare, M.D., Masters Public Administration
Bob served as Chair of Department of Surgery Quality Assurance Committee at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital-Methodist Division and served as clinical instructor in surgery at Jefferson Medical College.

Bob benefits the 3rd District due to his presence in two counties. He works in Salem County where he serves as Chairman of the hospital’s HealthCare Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committees while he resides in Gloucester County in West Deptford Township.

Bob is a strong advocate for patients and for physicians, nurses and technicians working in the “trenches” of patient care.

More than just a physician and surgeon:

With his graduate degree and studies at both Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins, Bob has gained insight into state policy issues and is a strong supporter of advanced education.

Bob has prepared a specific plan to reform healthcare delivery in New Jersey through his experience as a Senior Scholar at Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Health Policy.

Bob’s experience on the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners Advisory Committee on Continuing Medical Education where Rules & Regulations were drafted will be crucial in reforming Health Policy in New Jersey.

Licensed in Health & Disability Insurance, Bob gained knowledge and understanding of complex issues enabling him to make meaningful reforms for you.

Bob’s actions already benefited both the public and healthcare in general when his article in a New Jersey Journal on Health Policy helped persuade Senate President, Richard Codey to clarify rules governing physicians taking their patients to Ambulatory Surgery Centers. Imagine what Bob Villare can do for you, as your Assemblymen.

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