Thursday, 01 December 2011 15:00
OpEd: Reducing Health Care Costs In Louisiana
Written by 

reitzGreece and Italy could pull the Euro down. A deadlocked U.S. Congress can’t agree on how to address our record deficit. The threat of another recession persists as the housing market fails to rebound and unemployment continues to stagnate.  Wall Street is weak and erratic. The cost of healthcare continues to rise.

 Ready for some good economic news? Market forces in the healthcare sector are combining to address the rising cost of healthcare. In earlier columns, I criticized federal healthcare legislation for failing to address affordability, and stated that – given this important shortcoming – it was the responsibility of the players in the private healthcare sector to achieve what Washington could not.

Over the past year, we witnessed signs here in Louisiana that stakeholders were beginning to embrace the idea of working together to create an affordable system centered on quality.

Now, support for a new, interconnected and coordinated healthcare delivery model has grown into a movement. This movement, called the Patient-Centered Medical Home, is being embraced by physicians, employers and health insurers

Like all good solutions, the Patient Centered-Medical Home is simple. Primary care is at its foundation. Supplied with information from a patient’s health insurer and from the medical practice’s own electronic medical records, a patient’s primary care physician is armed with the data needed to greatly reduce duplicative and ineffective care.

A care coordinator, working at the medical facility, helps the physician coordinate care. The physicians practicing in this new model are compensated through incentives that reward quality care and improved outcomes rather than the volume of services.

Evidence is emerging that the combination of all these elements is beginning to impact the cost of care for patients and employers, and because the model is physician-led, it is gaining wide acceptance in the professional community.

However, even simple, direct models provide challenges at their inception. To help stakeholders meet these challenges, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is sponsoring a series of summits to educate stakeholders and the public on how to set up these revolutionary new healthcare delivery models, and on the positive effects – both in terms of increased quality and cost-savings – they can produce.

The first of these summits will be held December 6 at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. Speakers include Dr. Paul Grundy, president of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative in Washington, D.C.; Dr. Diane Rittenhouse, a leading health policy researcher and practicing primary care physician; Dr. Brian Demarie, a Louisiana native and practicing physician at the Medical Clinic of North Texas, a nationally renowned patient-centered medical home, and Dr. Ken Phenow, senior clinical officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

I strongly urge all interested stakeholders to attend. Admission is free. For details, go to

by Mike Reitz, President & CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Baton Rouge 

Visit Bayoubuzz Louisiana Health, Medical, Biotech Section

Do you have health, medical or biotech information you want to share with the Bayoubuzz audience?  Are you interested in writing for or contributing Bayoubuzz about these topics?  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">If so, contact us.


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

Login to post comments
Powered By JFBConnect
  • Cat Fights on the Hot Cement Confederate New Orleans statues
  • Ex-Saints, Bears, Bills, NFL Exec, Jim W. Miller discusses NFL Draft tomorrow
  • Trump's new plan; Curtains on tax returns release; 40% say Trump-Russia; Probing Obama admin
  • Watch Louisiana Governor Edwards talk about CAT Tax failure

catRarely, have I seen few issues that have generated as much raw heat, tension, and passion than the confederate monuments controversy. 

Just as existed during the real civil war, where brothers battled brothers, social media is the battleground, particularly Facebook, pitting friend against friend.

On one side of the tense divide, there are those who are protecting the New Orleans civil war era monuments.  Burnt in effigy, forever, is the symbol of Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up-ending what the monument protectors consider to be the loving civil society of New Orleans.

Lately, events have turned somewhat militaristic.

Some protectors of the confederate monuments have been staying vigilant, in person and online, even surveilling during the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the next Mayor Landrieu attack. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument. 

Read More

miller nfl live2 5It’s D-Day or Draft Day tomorrow in the NFL.

More specifically, Thursday represents the first day of the NFL draft 2017.

Read More


trump curtainsThe major President Trump news of the day focuses upon taxes, not only the tax cuts he is proposing but his own taxes, which he obviously, refuses to unveil.


Read More

edwards play money 1

At a press conference today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the CAT Tax did not pass the House Ways and Means Committee.  The Governor, in addressing the media said that "the fate of that bill was decided long before we unveiled it".

Read More


Sen. Appel talks budget, economy


Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1