eDocTalk article

On Fleet Week, sequestration and creative solutions

May 2013

Lewis Low, M.D.

 

As an ex-Army guy, I’m always curious about news regarding the military.

Over the last several weeks, as information about the consequences of the federal government’s budget sequestration has been released, I’ve noticed some of the local effects. Like on Fleet Week.

Due to the across-the-board cuts, the Coast Guard and the Navy will not be participating in the 2013 Rose Festival. And the Blue Angels won’t be performing in Oregon later in the summer, as they do every year.

At Legacy, we’re affected by the sequester cuts as well. Our revenue flows are at risk and elsewhere in this issue you can read about the impact on physician practices. While we in leadership have spent time planning our response to this challenge, we also realize that those of you in independent practice may be feeling a serious pinch.

Over the last several months I’ve spoken here about Legacy’s desire to partner more closely with independent physicians. Our alignment and engagement efforts are not just about providing the best possible care to our patients, but also about exploring new and creative partnerships with you to deal with the effects of financial challenges such as sequestration, Medicare and Medicaid cuts, increasing numbers of underinsured patients and value-based purchasing and even the forthcoming switch to ICD-10.

Working together for efficiencies

It is my honest belief that the best way for physicians and hospitals to weather these uncertain financial times is to work together to maximize efficiency and provide quality care to our community. We intend to find ways for independent physicians to have input into our directions on these matters. Already we have physician leadership councils in cardiology, neurology, imaging, and oncology that are setting strategic and financial priorities for Legacy. And we continue to meet with primary care physicians. Look for more opportunities to participate as we address new ways to improve quality and productivity.

I will continue to share information with you about these issues as it becomes available. In the meantime, as always, please feel free to email or call me with questions, concerns or ideas. And enjoy the Rose Festival.

Lewis

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