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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Health Care Reform — What You Can Do

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

With a new president in the White House and a new Congress underway, many of us have high hopes of what will be accomplished in the next four years. The economy remains at the top of the list of priorities for lawmakers, businesses and individuals across the country.

But mark my words: our economy will not have a good prognosis until our health care system is reformed. I am cautiously optimistic that change is coming to health care, but it won’t happen overnight. In the meantime, here are a few health care reforms you can implement in the workplace and at home.

First, be vigilant about what your insurance company offers you and your employees. By comparing prices, services and rewards, you may find a way to adequately insure you and your employees for less.

Second, negotiate with your providers for services you will pay out of pocket. Many will offer discounts for services not covered by insurance.

Third, take advantage of all the preventive care available to you. It’s less expensive to prevent diabetes, high cholesterol and other chronic diseases than it is to treat them. And encourage your employees to do the same.

Studies have shown that as much as 70 percent of health care costs are preventable through lifestyle modifications. So I encourage you: Take part in your own healthcare reform in 2009. Every little bit counts.

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

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