Friday, December 4, 2009

Community Resources or Reforming Medicare

Community Resources: A Guide for Human Service Workers

Author: William Crimando

Counselors often refer their clients to particular human-services agencies to deal with specific problems outside their organization's area of expertise. How do they find out which outside agencies can help their clients? What limitations exist? What new helping organizations have been developed and programmed, and what existing programs have been enhanced? What has new legislation funded? This comprehensive and authoritative volume provides the answers human-service professionals need to assist and guide their clients. Written by credentialed practitioners, the book provides detailed explanations and descriptions of the most prominent and beneficial human-service agencies. Also included is information on agency personnel, as well as specific organizational certifications, licensing, and accreditation. This indispensable guide is suitable for use in courses covering the types of human services that exist in every community, and as a follow-up or adjunct to case management courses. It is also an invaluable aid to professional counselors for investigating agencies and/or service(s) for client referral.

Interesting book: Feng Shui la Armonia de la Vida or Life Paints Its Own Span

Reforming Medicare

Author: Henry J Aaron

"Medicare, though important, accounts for less than a quarter of personal health care spending. Systemic reforms in the U.S. health care system would do far more to control Medicare spending than any reform in the program alone. Policies such as promulgating an evidence-based benefit design, steering patients toward high-value services, and reorienting payment policy toward the prevention of acute and chronic diseases have the potential to curtail spending across the population, not just among the elderly. Systemwide health reform is the best way to make Medicare economically sustainable and enable it to provide beneficiaries with high-quality and affordable health care."

"A debate on how to restructure Medicare and close the gap between projected spending and revenues is long overdue. It will undoubtedly revolve around two key issues. First, projected increases in health care spending will put enormous pressure on the federal budget. Second, Medicare is not currently structured to provide the best-health-care-for-the-buck to its beneficiaries."

"Under the social insurance concept, Medicare would return to one menu of covered benefits, deductibles, and cost sharing for all beneficiaries. The rationale for a single set of defined benefits is that the gains-low administrative costs and leverage on providers to hold down fees-would outweigh the costs of not gratifying differences in insurance tastes."

"All versions of premium support rest on the assumption that private plans can organize and pay for health care for Medicare beneficiaries better than the government or individuals can. It would blend regulation designed to ensure access with competition designed to lower costs andraise quality. It also has the appeal of a public-private partnership-a hybrid of public funding and rules, on the one hand, and private delivery and innovation, on the other."

"Ultimately, the prospects for consumer-directed Medicare rise or fall on the acceptability of its premise-that health care is much like other consumer goods, in the sense that it is best allocated according to the demands of individuals operating in relatively unregulated markets."

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