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CHEF President’s Article

It?s not about the money, it?s about the money

With the passage of the Accountable Care Act came the opportunity for Americans to, truly, be entrepreneurial.? Up to that point, if you wanted to get health insurance, your best bet was to get it through your employer or suffer the wrath of the individual health insurance market.? If you had any pre-existing conditions, you could forget affordable options.

Fast forward to 2013.? I took the leap and started my own consulting company that has morphed into a high tech healthcare business.? Being on my own, I was the perfect candidate for the health exchange.? Through the exchange I have enjoyed an individual health plan through Illinois? first and only Co-Op, Land of Lincoln Health.? Thanks to some (alleged) shenanigans by the leading health plan in Illinois and the underfunding of the risk corridor it appears that Platinum plans are no longer available, meaning deductibles are unavoidable.

In my MHA program (long, long ago), my cohort was fortunate to include an economist with healthcare finance experience.? He explained that, when it comes to healthcare, ?It?s not about the money.? It?s about the money?.? Since deductibles mean that consumers are paying straight cash for a portion of their health care services, ?how much is that going to cost? is an inevitable question that will be asked of providers.? Any version of ?I don?t know? as an answer isn?t going to cut it anymore.? Needing care can be terrifying enough without the dread of not knowing if treatment means the wiping out of savings or even bankruptcy.? We need to make sure that price transparency isn?t just an initiative to be tackled, but a daily reality.? The information is out there and available ? we just have to make sure it is easy to access at the point of care.

Richard Buchler, FACHE
2015 CHEF President


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