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'The Business of Health Care Report'

What Businesses Can Expect From Latest Health Care Trends
11/07/2005

I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

The health care delivery system is becoming increasingly fragmented, and consumers must assume more responsibility for coordinating their own care. How will this affect you?

Patients who previously would have gone to a hospital for treatment coordinated by their family physician now often go to a series of separate facilities, each with separate medical staffs.

Physicians increasingly focus on either outpatient or inpatient treatments. When your physician does refer you to a hospital for inpatient treatment, it is increasingly likely that your treatment will be handled by a “hospitalist,” a physician who focuses solely on treating patients during their hospital stay.

You will have more choices of where and how you access health care. You will have more access to information about treatment alternatives and about the past performance of care providers. Employer-provided health care plans will require more emphasis on personal responsibility for maintaining health.

You also will have more responsibility for asking the right questions, making choices appropriate for your situation, and for coordinating a dispersed team of care givers.

You might bear a larger share of the cost of health care, and you might also be penalized – through the cost of insurance premiums – for unhealthy lifestyle choices.

That’s why THR is investing time and resources to educate consumers so we can all make wiser health choices in this changing health care world.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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