Women are the unpaid case workers of the American health care system and they don’t trust insurers mainly because insurers aren’t doing enough to earn that trust. Among other things, price transparency and better cooperation between payers and providers might help address this situation.
By some accounts, pregnancy and delivery is the single most expensive group of diagnoses for employers providing insurance coverage. Contraception coverage is in the ACA and it’s a good deal for insurers because contraception prevents unintended pregnancies. But complaints about limited options abound.
Long-lasting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are easy to use and effective. One reason the U.S. lags behind other developed countries in LARC use is that memories of the Dalkon Shield still linger from the 1970s, when a design defect in that IUD resulted in infections that led to infertility, ectopic pregnancies, and death.
Guideline writers are dialing back breast screening recommendations because of concerns about false positives and overdiagnoses. For instance, there’s the debate about at what age screening should start. Meanwhile, advocates and some clinicians are pulling in the opposite direction—for more coverage, especially for 3D mammography.
Women make up the majority of the medical workforce, working in medical offices, hospitals, and at health insurance companies. Women also dominate health care as consumers, decision makers for their families. But they are less visible in the corridors of power.
Her advice to upcoming executives: ‘Hit the ball out of the park in the job you’re in now. Worry less about your next job and more about just really making a contribution in what you’re tasked with today.’
A mentor played a significant role in Angela Braly’s move from lawyer to becoming one of the highest-profile women in business in the United States, serving as chair, president and CEO of WellPoint (now Anthem), the largest health insurer based on membership.
Gregg’s Pearl: “If you’re a woman, the best thing you could do was work for a guy with a daughter, and preferably, only daughters, because they have an interest in seeing women do well and open opportunities, ultimately for their own daughters.”
Sheryl Sandberg has advised women to lean in; Diane Holder, president and CEO of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) health plan, says, “Get out and connect with many people who are different than you.”
Inpatient open hysterectomies have statistically significantly higher average allowed costs than outpatient laparoscopic, laparoscopic assisted, and vaginal hysterectomies and statistically significantly higher readmission rates than outpatient laparoscopic and laparoscopic-assisted hysterectomies.
Doctors maintain that they simply do not have all the tools they need to make value-based care happen, even if they wanted it to happen. Health insurance executives counter that the situation is not that bad.