Cooperating for better care.

John Torinus

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Pushing for hospitals to peg all prices to Medicare


This Dallas Morning News story discusses the “revolutionary ideas” being spawned by high hospital prices.

As  the story says, “Hospitals are in a top-down revolution that focuses on keeping people well rather than treating the sick.”

“….Dallas, Fort Worth and 29 other cities in North Texas are rebelling against high hospital prices. They want the hospitals to bid against each other, publicly, for the care delivered to 80,000 municipal employees and their families.”

Further, “Many companies are changing the health insurance deal with their workers by charging lower premiums for those who quit smoking or pass screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes and artery-clogging cholesterol.”

And, the paper notes, In Wisconsin, “’exasperated private payers, led by large and medium employers, are staging a revolt against the medical establishment, ” John Torinus, chairman of Milwaukee manufacturer Serigraph and author of The Grassroots Health Care Revolution, told the paper. “No other vendor would get away with double-digit increases for decades.”

“The {Texas} municipal rebellion against hospital prices was ignited by recent increases averaging 9 percent to 9.5 percent a year, according to an analysis by Dallas consultants Holmes Murphy,” the paper said.

“Last March, Den Bishop, president of the consulting firm, began encouraging the cities to unite to confront these prices. Instead of relying on insurance companies to bargain with hospitals, he said, they should do it themselves and insist that the hospitals use a single index as their starting point.”

“Bishop argues that the only way to get control of medical spending is to peg it to Medicare’s fixed prices,” The Morning News reported.

Den Bishop put it this way: “At what percent of Medicare are you {hospitals} willing to sell your services?”

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