Monday, December 06, 2004

The Unholy Alliance

Did you know Alameda county runs an HMO? That’s right folks, we can’t afford a hospital or clinics for the uninsured but we have adequate funds to run an insurance company to administer public healthcare dollars- it’s called the Alameda Alliance for Health.

The Alliance was established in 1996 to “administer” healthcare dollars mostly Medi-Cal. The Alliance was Dave Kears’ brainchild why run a hospital when you could build a bureaucracy- all the money none of the hassles. When the Alliance was established most of the profitable Medi-Cal clients, young women with children were immediately sucked out of the county hospital. The Alliance referred them to private hospitals. Many of the medical center’s financial problems date back to the creation of the Alameda Alliance.

How could Mr. Kears sell such a bad idea to our well-meaning but inept county supervisors? The same way George Bush is trying to sell out Social Security. Dave Kears said the Alliance offered clients, “choice.” Whenever Dave or George say, “choice” one should understand that they plan to dismantle some public service.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You give Dave Kears too much credit for creating the Alameda Alliance for Health. The Alliance is just one of many such managed care plans selected by Medi-Cal patients. The Alliance had NOTHING to do with the loss of Medi-Cal patients. Let's face it, Contra Costa County has a look-a-like health plan and their hospital is not in the red. Alameda County failed to move heaven and earth to make ACMC the #1 choice of care for Medi-Cal patients. Why would you deliver a baby at ACMC is you can deliver at St. Rose or Summit. ACMC is ten years behind places like Santa Clara County and Contra Costa County in rebuilding their county hospital so it could compete with private sector hospitals for patients. The CCB should have been completed seven years ago, a new hospital should have been completed five years ago. THAT IS THE ISSUE. ACMC has NOT paid attention to what has been happening to the Bay Area health care market for the last ten years. ACMC leadership and the Board of Supervisors still think it is 1980. The 1990s gave us managed care and anyone who knew anything about financing health care knew controlling costs, and getting a hold of patient populations with a payment source (Medi-Cal)were DO OR DIE MUSTS. Why does San Francisco General and Contra Costa County outpatient clinics received payments from Medi-Cal that match costs (ie they get payments that nearly cover the cost of care) while ACMC is still only getting pennies on the dollar in reimbursement for outpatient care from Medi-Cal.
Ask George Horner (CAMBIO) why ACMC is not being reimbursed at the FQHC enhanced reimbursement one year after big pay consultants came to ACMC..why does the Board of Trustees not ask..or the Board of Supervisors. Getting paid $250-$300 for an outpatient visit on the HGH campus sure beats the crappy reimbursement we are getting from Medi-Cal now.