On March 27, 2012, while the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John G. Roberts, was struggling with the difference between broccoli and health insurance at 1st street in Northwest Washington, D.C., four individuals who have made concrete improvements to the health of patients from all walks of life were being recognized by NCQA on G Street at the National Building Museum.
SironaHealth was honored to attend the NCQA awards and participate in recognizing key leaders in our industry.
But the irony is obvious, absurd, and disturbing.
The Supreme Court is debating the scope of the interstate commerce clause (among other laws) – a debate separate and remote from healthcare – that, by the way, was conducted with the seriousness and courtesy of a frat party. In fact, Roberts joked about having to read the Affordable Care Act, citing the 8th amendment (Cruel and Unusual Punishment).
Evidently, he does not have a coverage issue that will force him into bankruptcy or kill him – or both.
While the nation gets sidetracked by these arguments, organizations providing health services to patients, regardless of size and complexity, will need to soldier on regardless of the legal debate.
At the NCQA dinner, Helen Darling, President and CEO of the National Group on Health, Patricia Gabow, MD, CEO of Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Atul Gawande, MD, surgeon and author, and Paul Grundy, IBM’s Global Director for Healthcare Transformation, were recognized for their years of persistence and results.
All four share a common understanding and goal: Focusing on what’s right for the patient and a relentless pursuit of process quality that will fix the cost and safety crises in healthcare and thus improve the pathetic state of population health in the U.S.
Now, what does this have to do with broccoli or interstate commerce?