Sunday, July 14, 2019

News and Record's "Cone Health, state remain at odds over new State Health Plan" with no investigative reporting on health care pricing

"Casual observers might have been surprised by the anger and vitriol in a recent email from a Cone Health official to leaders of the State Health Plan.

But Cone Assistant Director of Finance Frank Kauder’s impassioned diatribe was just the most extreme salvo in a long-simmering feud pitting North Carolina’s major health care systems against state Treasurer Dale Folwell, the health plan’s supervisory board and those who speak for thousands of state employees.

“Your plan to cut payments to hospitals could possibly be the most moronic idea I have ever seen come out of our state government,” Kauder said in his blunt critique that closed by urging the recipients to “burn in hell you sorry (SOBs).”

Backed by the State Employees Association of North Carolina, Folwell has been trying since last year to clarify in precise, contractual terms what health care systems can charge for each of the various conditions and ailments they treat.

For example?

Nothing by the News and Record's lead investigative reporter

The aim is to bring down costs overall and make sure that plan members know in advance what various treatments likely will cost them.

For example?

Why not pick something Cone Health refuses to clarify?

Provide an example of what Cone Health does clarify.

Folwell said ...what hospitals and other health-care providers are charging the State Health Plan for their services must be lowered significantly in a “transparent” format with pricing that everyone can understand.

“These days, people don’t consume health care. It consumes them,” Folwell said.

...“We’ve been asking since 2011 for transparency,” said Ardis Watkins, director of government relations for the state employees association. “We’ve seen state audit after state audit saying, ‘You need to know what you’re paying.’”

“The system is not broken. It was designed that way,” Watkins said of the current pricing regime. “But we are not tolerating the way the system is designed any more.”

Why didn't Taft Wireback note Cone Health CEO Terry Akins 
made more than $1.7 million in 2017?

..."It’s great that university and other state employees occasionally get pay raises, he said. But if the cost of their health care rises dramatically, the value of any increase declines proportionately", And for those employees who have seen little or no salary growth in recent years, “you have a situation where you’re actually going backward”...
Ed Cone is on the Cone Health Board Of Trustees

What's your defense of non-transparency Ed?
"It's [Clear Pricing Project] been looked at, in 1990, 2000, and 2010. 

This has been looked at for 30 years. 

And it's the reason why the state health plan 
is one of the most insolvent in the United States."

North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell 

"Cone Health's CEO also said in an internal email that the Clear Pricing Project would cost the hospital an additional $26 million. We asked the treasurer where that number came from.

Cone reported Nov. 28 that net patient revenue was up 7.7% to $1.78 billion for fiscal 2018.

It reported $110.4 million in "excess revenue," 
which is akin to profit for a for-profit organization.

Greensboro's News and Record

He says he has no idea where that number came from. He went on to say that Cone Health says the state health plan makes up only 5% of their revenue but they claim that it will cost them 50% of their profit.

"Those two numbers just don't add up," he added.
2/17/14; A conversation between Ed Cone and George Hartzman on Obamacare etc...

3/18/14; Words I intend to deliver to Greensboro's City Council this evening on Medicaid expansion in North Carolina
Other notable Cone Health Board Of Trustees;

J. Edward Kitchen

David F. Leeper

M. Lee McAllister

Carole Simms

These folks don't want their customers knowing 
how much Cone Health charges for services
before services are provided.

It's a mandatory part of the role to be a board member
of an organization which fleeces it's patients.

Notable Cone Health Foundation Board Of Trustees;

Tom Cone
Ott, Cone & Redpath, PA

Ross Harris
Executive Director, NC Institute of Political Leadership

Rev. Chesley "Ches" Kennedy
Director of Development University of North Carolina at Greensboro
College of Arts and Sciences

Afrique Kilimanjaro
Newspaper Editor, The Carolina Peacemaker

Robert Pompey, Jr.
Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

How many lawsuits has Cone Health filed against patients over the last five years?

How many lives ruined?

Cone Health CEO Terry Akins made more than $1.7 million in 2017.

Cone Health 2017 990;
"Cone's facilities, doctors could be out-of-network for state employees starting Jan. 1 after the health-care system rejects new reimbursement plan

Cone Health said Monday it will not sign a contract for the State Health Plan's new reimbursement program, meaning Cone's facilities and doctors could be out-of-network for state employees starting Jan. 1, 2020.

Cone is the first Triad health-care system to reject the Clear Pricing Project contract championed by state Treasurer Dale Folwell.

Folwell launched in October his attempt to move the SHP to a government pricing model tied to Medicare reimbursement rates, which typically are lower than hospitals currently receive for services.

...Cone reported Nov. 28 that net patient revenue was up 7.7% to $1.78 billion for fiscal 2018, which ended Sept. 30. It reported $110.4 million in "excess revenue," which is akin to profit for a for-profit organization.
Allen Johnson's deafening silence on N.C. Treasurer Folwell's plan to increase transparency and lower healthcare costs

Cone Health is a Racket;

How many families did Cone Health force into bankruptcy last year?

Cone Health's success at stealing from patients and bankrupting families within our local overpriced healthcare monopoly

Our healthcare system is a legal theft racket supported by our nation's media industry

What Warren Buffett's outlets won't report; "Colombia Fears U.S. May Reject Peace Plan To Protect Pharma Profits"

The Healthcare Industry is a legal racket

A few tidbits on Social Security and Medicare and our nation's other "non-discretionary" social spending too many are relying on

Greensboro City Council succumbs to extortion by UnitedHealthcare

America is getting Ripped Off on Healthcare

From Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to an reader; A 425% increase in health care insurance premium for 2018

Excerpts from my 3/26/2014 Yes Weekly Article; "On Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina" ACA, Obamacare, CBO, SGR and the Doc Fix

Dear Greensboro's Andrew Brod, On the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Obamacare) and Deficit Projections, of which Dr. Brod was Incorrect

"...according to the Congressional Budget Office, the ACA as a whole, including Medicaid expansion, will slightly reduce the deficit during the next 10 years, precisely because it includes various taxes and fees. Expanding Medicaid might mean bigger government, but not a bigger deficit.

Andrew Brod
March 28, 2014

3/19/14; Dr. Andrew Brod, my deadline for this article is Monday morning at 10am.

I believe you are not telling the truth. If you would like to provide proof that you are not, please do so, otherwise the following should be published in Yes Weekly next Wednesday;

"On March 21, 2014, the Obama administration's stated "the Affordable Care Act reduces the deficit, saving over $200 billion over 10 years".

In online debates at Council Member Tony Wilkins' Facebook page and Ed Cone's blog before and after the council debate, UNCG Senior Research Fellow Dr. Andrew Brod stated "It's silly to say that the ACA is "mathematically unsustainable." The best math we have on this are projections by the CBO [Congressional Budget Office], indicate that the ACA is quite sustainable. The CBO projects that the ACA will (slightly) reduce the federal deficit” and "the ACA will reduce the federal deficit over time, precisely because "how we pay for it" has already been nailed down in the law."

Directly contradicting the Obama administration and Dr. Brod's assertions, Table B-1 of a February, 2014 report by the CBO entitled "Effects on the Deficit of the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act" says the Net Cost of Coverage Provisions to the federal government is projected to be $1.487 Trillion between 2015 and 2024."

Guilford County's 10 largest employers
Aug 26, 2018 

2. Cone Health

Employees: 9,287

Leadership: Terry Akin, CEO; F.D. Hornaday III, board chairman

Integrated not-for-profit network of health care providers serving Guilford, Forsyth, Rockingham, Alamance, Randolph, Caswell and surrounding counties. ... Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the state’s seventh best hospital in 2018-19. ... Has more than 12,000 employees, 1,300 physicians and 1,200 volunteers across the region. ... Its network comprises more than 100 locations, including six hospitals, three ambulatory care centers, three outpatient surgery centers and three urgent care centers. ... Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, a 517-bed teaching hospital and referral center in Greensboro, is the flagship. ... Opened in 1953.