Healthcare Reform: A Look at the Kaiser Permanente Model

2478 WordsJul 17, 201810 Pages
It is terrifying to discover that you have terminal cancer. What is more terrifying is being left uninsured. This is what happened to one Californian. He lost his job due to recession cuts and tried to get onto his wife’s insurance coverage. However, she too lost her job and insurance. So now this man is left at home writing in pain because he cannot access pain killers. With his economic background, it is difficult to access federal coverage. There are problems like this occurring every day. I believe that we need to improve not only the amount of people covered by health insurance, but the quality as well. To illustrate this, I look to Kaiser Permanente, who I have both volunteered and been a patient with, for the model of…show more content…
For example, if you had shoulder pain, you could see an orthopedic specialist the very same day with no visit to a general practitioner. The consolidation of insurance and care is characteristic of Kaiser Permanente in the United States, however being a private company and smaller than a national system, they are forced to require the general practitioner as a middleman to presumably control unnecessary visits. Another system Taiwan has in place is the “Smart Card” the card is carried by every citizen and allows a physician to pull up a complete patient history and bill the government insurance. Additionally this system can track abuse of visits and have a member of the Bureau of National Health Insurance visit the abuser, a system that the Taiwanese people are satisfied with. Kaiser Permanente has a similar system in place that allows any Kaiser physician to look up a complete patient history, stored on secure databases. However, as previously stated the general practitioner is used in Kaiser to prevent the abuse of services as that is the only realistic solution, but is fortunately not too restricting. Based upon my experience as a Kaiser patient, once you are established with a specialist, you may schedule an appointment without any gatekeeper interference. This just shows the similarities of Kaiser Permanente to a nationalized system and that the Kaiser model is one that can be successful on a large scale. A system very similar Taiwan’s

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