Friday, April 08, 2011

Medical Costs for Kids

By this time I assume that most people know that Ohio is overextended financially. This fact has brought about the election of John Kasich as Governor and other Conservatives to the state congress. Can they solve the state's budget problems?

There has been a lot of discussion, conflict and debate over how to reduce the state budget and how to reduce taxes. The biggest costs are very hard to reduce. We need creative, innovative thinking to save big money.

One of the biggest problems facing Ohio and the entire USA is health costs especially Medicaid. Take a look at the high cost of caring for Ohio children with a serious medical condition.

Based on analysis of the 2008 Ohio Family Health Survey (OFHS) an estimated 570,000 children have special health care needs, representing 20.9% of all children aged 0-17 in Ohio.

Based on a national sample of children aged 0-17 years from the 2000 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) CSHCN accounted for 42.1% of the total health care expenditures in this age category (not including dental costs).

So, approximately 21% of children and youth suffer from a serious medical problem and they account for over twice that percentage of medical costs.

You can bet your band aid that the state is going to look for ways to reduce its portion of that cost. The usual way of cutting costs is to make medical care harder to access and to pay Doctors less. That is not a good solution.

Be Creative

If I were in office I would be asking all citizens to help me figure out ways we can give great care for sick children while eliminating waste and inefficiency.

This is where you and I come into the picture. Our research is unique because we actually went into the homes of the families with chronically disabled children and asked them what they needed to help them as an entire family. I am convinced that if we can enlist the parents, grand parents, friends and neighbors into thinking and acting on this problem we will discover many great ways to improve the quality of life of the children and lower costs.

What ideas do you have? As we continue our discussion about these issues I will make some suggestions and see what you all come up with. This approach is called, "Crowd Sourcing" and is being used by P&G as well as several other creative companies. By seeking the knowledge and wisdom of all citizens we can arrive at solutions that are creative and out of the box.

If we do nothing to change the current medical system, costs will continue to rise and overwhelm the state, the nation and the families with children. Join with Sweeten Life Systems and give us your innovative ideas.

We are launching a new ministry focus to facilitate innovative thinking about ways we can support the The Village Initiative with Parents. It takes a whole village to raise a child and it takes a whole village to bring new, less costly ways to care for sick kids.

The VIP Program will stir the pot along with concerned Parents to come up with out of the box solutions. Our approach is not to do everything FOR the parents and families but to encourage them to take the Initiative to discover better ways for themselves.

We hope that all concerned people will join us and the parents to be entrepreneurs in this area. Write your ideas in the comments section or send me an email at gary@sweeten

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