Discussing health care in a normal voice

-A A +A
By Sherry Robinson

Civil discussions of healthcare reform are possible. I heard one just last week when three panelists took up the subject before a business group.

Jim Hinton, CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare Services, set the tone: “There are no villains in this debate.”

Daniel Derksen, a professor in UNM’s Family and Community Medicine Department and president of the New Mexico Medical Society, said healthcare reform is too important to be a partisan debate.

Bob Schwartz, a UNM Law school professor and expert on health law and bioethics, called for more consumer information.

All three talked about costs and waste.

If we could save even a small percentage on waste in the system, we could easily pay for healthcare reform, Derksen said. “We waste $210 billion a year on over-testing, another $200 billion on claims processing and $50 billion on defensive practice,” he said.

Last year Americans received half the world’s CT scans, which deliver 20 to 40 times the radiation of a chest x-ray, Hinton said. “We should remove the incentive to use CT scans and quit doing unnecessary back surgeries and prescribing unnecessary antibiotics,”  Derkson said.

It’s a matter of incentives. If a doctor treats you, whether you need it or not, he or she makes money.

If you subscribe to the newspaper, you receive FREE access to all the exclusive content of the web site! Simply register to receive uninterrupted access to our award-winning and in-depth local online content!

Renew Current or Past Subscription / Register for Online Subscription

If you currently subscribe or have subscribed in the past to the Los Alamos Monitor, then simply find your account number on your mailing label and enter it below.

Click the question mark below to see where your account ID appears on your mailing label.

Newspaper Acct. ID:
Street Address:
(exactly as it appears on the label)

If you are a subscriber and you do not know your account ID or don't have a copy of your newspaper available that shows the information on the address label you can click continue below to search for your account.

New Subscription/30 Day Free Trial Account

If you are new to the award winning Los Alamos Monitor and wish to get a subscription or simply gain access to our online content then please enter your ZIP code below and continue to setup your account.

ZIP Code:

Create a limited access account.
Register to participate in community forums, post on the community calendar, blog etc. This registration does not give you full access to read our award winning content, etc.

The Los Alamos Monitor | lacirculation@lamonitor.com | 505-662-4185
256 DP Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday