Health care reform: a plea for facts
By Emily Hutto
I’ve got to give it up for Denver-based 5280 Magazine, a publication that employs a staff of exceptional investigative journalists. One of them, Maxamillian Potter, recently published an article about Denver’s top doctors, and credits Dr. Patricia Gabow, the CEO of Denver Health, for providing a “blueprint for health care in the United States.”
Simpler Consulting, L.P. recently recognized Gabow for her outstanding leadership in the medical field. She implemented Lean Healthcare Exchange that completely transformed the level one health care that Denver Health provides. A press release announcing this recognition says, “Under Dr. Gabow's direction, Denver Health has experienced a financial benefit of more than $135 million through Lean, and—more importantly—it has transformed the health system and delivery quality for the patients it serves. In fact, Dr. Gabow attributes its Lean healthcare initiative to saving at least 213 lives in 2011 alone.”
In Potter's article, he quotes Denver Health board member Joel S. Levine who says that Gabow’s implementation of Lean is evidence that you can provide high-quality health care for less. Potter says that depending on your perspective, this health care for less is driving the Obamacare debate.
“For already cash-strapped public hospitals reaching these mandates,” says Potters, “[PPACA] amounts to drastic and dramatic improvements, and, to read the Journal, is next to impossible. Presumably, then, more of these hospitals will vanish.”
Critics of Obamacare believe it will create wasteful spending and poorly managed hospitals, says Potter. “We’re a nation of supersizing smoker types,” he goes on, “and a country, particularly in states like Colorado, dealing with an influx of uninsured non-U.S. citizens.”
What I appreciate about Potter’s journalism is that he isn’t referencing health care reform in regards to Republicans and Democrats. (Read his article about Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and you’ll understand why.) He even quotes Gabow who said, “…we didn’t get health care screwed up in a year, and to think we’re going to fix it in a year is incredibly naive. But you have to start somewhere.”
She’s right. And Potter is right to present the issue without partisan influence. As election season quickly encroaches, perhaps it’s time we all put aside our biases and deal with health care reform factually. As Gabow advises, you have to start somewhere.