Greg Poulsen, Senior Vice President
How might federal health reform affect Intermountain Healthcare?
Greg Poulsen, Intermountain's senior vice president, recently addressed questions about the national healthcare reform legislation and its likely effects on Intermountain.
Why is Intermountain well-positioned to deal with federal health reform?
The goal of the legislation over time is to encourage organizations to go to what's being called an 'accountable care organization' concept. It's the concept of physicians and hospitals and other caregivers working together to meet the needs of the patient. That's been part of our DNA for 20 years or more.
Why could the legislation affect Intermountain less than other healthcare organizations?
This legislation will impact Intermountain differently from a lot of organizations because much of the focus is going in a direction we're already going.
How will the bill be paid for?
About half of it's coming from increased taxes, and the other half is coming from decreased payments to providers, mostly for Medicare services. That obviously is a substantial worry for doctors and hospitals across the country.
How will healthcare reform affect SelectHealth?
A lot of the requirements that are in this new bill are things SelectHealth already does. SelectHealth's ongoing customer service reputation will serve them very well when individuals are making the insurance decision rather than just companies.
Will this legislation change health insurance and premiums for Intermountain employees?
There are a number of new requirements that take place in 2010 and 2011 for insurance, but they're things Intermountain Healthcare has provided for its employees for a very long time. I don't think there will be a lot of major changes or even minor changes over the next couple of years.
How will we handle the volumes that will result from 32 million more people having health insurance?
We're already acting as the safety net provider for our state, which means the majority of people who don't have insurance today end up in our clinics and our facilities. We're already handling a lot of those volumes that will come ultimately.
How will Intermountain handle the challenges healthcare reform will bring?
I don't think that a lot of our colleagues across the country are nearly as well-positioned as we are to go into the future. I think this will be a challenge for us but a crisis for many other organizations. I can't think of anybody in the country that's as well-positioned to meet these new challenges as we are.
For more information about healthcare reform and issues surrounding the national debate, view the following presentation: