A dose of reality about the business of health care

May 24, 2013
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Welcome to The Dose, a blog about the business of health care. As your host, J.K. Wall, I'll be writing about the most interesting new developments I see at hospitals, doctors, insurers, employers, patients, drugmakers, device companies and medical researchers around Indianapolis and around the country.

I've been covering the world of health care since early 2007, including the mammoth health reform debate, which gave us the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act of 2010. By now, I know a little bit about the field, but mostly I just try to learn more each day, then share those tidbits with you.

On this blog I will direct you to my articles and other analysis I find interesting. But I'll discuss the financial reasons that lie behind the decisions of every organization in health care--including, if not especially, the not-for-profit ones. Everyone in health care likes to describe themselves in righteous terms, as healing the sick and comforting the afflicted out of nothing but a selfless heart. It's my job to inject a dose of reality into the situation.

Please join the conversation. Your comments, and especially your criticisms, are always welcome.

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  • Congratulations
    Congratulations on your blog's debut J.K. I'm looking forward to your posts. Is there a way to read blog posts in an RSS reader or by e-mail?
    • Thanks
      Jack, You can use an RSS reader using this web address: http://www.ibj.com/blog?blogId=12. There's no e-mail for The Dose, yet, but it's something we're discussing for the future. Thanks for reading and commenting. -- J.K.
    • Recent posts
      Excellent series of articles regarding Obamacare. I have been telling folks for some time there will be some who will be very happy with the new law but in my opinion many more will not be and this is not the way it had to be. That being said, please clarify---- I have been told that self-insured plans will essentially be treated the same as fully-insured plans under Obamacare, with the possible exception of the community rating. I was so informed by several lawyers who work extensively in this area. Could you clarify? Thanks and again excellent blogs.
      • Self-insurance
        Mr. Brown, Thank you for your comments. Nearly all of the employer requirements of the Affordable Care Act apply to both fully insured and self-insured employer groups. However, there are three key exceptions: community rating, the insurance tax and the essential health benefits requirements. You can read a bit more about it in this report: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/2011/RAND_TR971.pdf. Now, the EHBs exemption may not prove to be that significant because self-insured employers are still required to offer plans with a minimum actuarial value of 60%. But they could skimp on coverage in certain areas, if they wanted to do so. That's my understanding. I hope that helps.

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