ARCS Foundation Phoenix welcomed Thomas Sadvary, CEO of the Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network, as he presented a thoughtful view of today’s healthcare industry at its May luncheon. “In the last 20 years developments in research and technology have brought big changes,” he said. New drugs have appeared, and Americans are spending shorter stays in the hospital. The speed of information has increased. However, as he pointed out, “things needed to change.” The economy cannot sustain the growing expense of medical treatment.
Awareness of the need for reform has three common themes: improve access to care, improve quality, and control costs. As he explained, the hope is that with an increase in the number of participants, even the increases in cost will be affordable. The optimistic view is: 1. As the systems and providers continue to change, we will find a way to make it work. 2. The new consensus is to “take better care of yourself.” You have the information, what are you going to do about it? We all need to take ownership of our own care. 3. If research and technology are going to continue making such great changes, we need to plan ahead. We’ll have to adapt to the pace of change.
Mr. Sadvary discussed the fact that some individuals may choose to pay the $95.00 penalty rather than participating in the new health care system. He pointed out, however, that this fee would be increased over time. At some point, employers will need to assume the cost, but they can choose to wait. It is an economic decision; however, he believes the ethical answer is to provide health care insurance for employees.
In today’s medical community, more and more doctors are paid employees rather than independent providers. Traditionally, 70% of acute care is offered in the hospital. Tomorrow, care and treatment must be more balanced, with only 25% of acute care offered in the hospital and a greater number of patients treated at home. This is a crossroad, a time of transition. What will stay? The mission-based values are unchanged: right care, right place, right time.