university hThe health care mess in Wake County

university hThe healthuniversity hThe health care mess in Wake County care mess in Wake County,It should be noted that this dispute is different, but somewhat related to another dispute between UNC and WakeMed. In that dispute the issue is whether UNC has a competitive advantage over WakeMed as a result of the ct that UNC is subsidized by the taxpayers of the state through appropriations by the state to the UNC system.

Not only has the state set up a system depleted of competitive market forces but it has shielded that system by unique secrecy laws. Just look at the Letter of Intent between University Health System of Eastern Carolina and the Beaufort Health System Authority. The call it a Confidentiality Agreement.

Aetna is not the problem. The problem is that the state, under the weight of expensive and extraordinary lobbying by both insurance companies and health care providers, has created a system controlled by the number crunchers and lawyers rather than the patients. There is no competition .

3.The amount providers charge should be public information and patients should be able to use any insurance company licensed to do business in the state at any provider. If the patient knows how much the insurance company will pay and knows how much the provider is going to charge then the patient should be able to select whichever provider they want. This information should be readily accessible. It should be posted in the waiting room and on the internet.

The dispute, as reported by the N&O is classic. UNC contends that Aetna is not paying them market rates for their services and is paying them less than Aetna pays other local providers, such as WakeMed and Duke. Aetna says they are simply trying to hold down the cost of health care to keep the patients insurance rates from being higher. UNC is seeking a 16% increase for UNC Hospitals, a 22% increase at Rex and a 52 percent increase for Rex-affiliated physicians.

2.Fair Trade laws should be applied that prevent, under the cover of state law and regulations, insurance companies from paying different rates to one provider in the state from what they pay others.

Such agreements, among other things, make the payment schedules of insurance companies to providers secret. State law exempts the negotiations between insurance companies and providers from the Open Meetings and Public Records law in some instances.

Aetna has contracts with WakeMed and Duke Health Systems, but as the patients who are quoted in the article the problem for them is having to find new doctors and health care providers.

The Raleigh News & Observer is reporting that Aetna Insurance Company and UNC Health Care System are at loggerheads over a contract the provides a schedule of payments for Aetna customers who use the UNC system for health care. Click here to read that story.


The health care system in this state is sick. In ct it is dying. And the blame belongs on the Legislature of the State of North Carolina.

1. The health care industry should be transparent. As long as it is going to be regulated by state law, and advantages given both insurers and providers by those laws, the public should be afforded the same transparency as it is of public bodies.

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We think reform is essential. And it should begin in this session of the Legislature. Here are some things we think should be addressed immediately:

We dont pretend to be health care management experts. Far from it. But we do believe that we are qualified to make an age-old conclusion that competition is better than secret deals. And essential to competition is that the patients should be the deciders. Accountants and lawyers have so complicated this system and robbed it of free enterprise by allowing a hugely expensive lobby to dictate the structure of the industry that it is hopeless corrupt. And that ult rests with the members of the General Assembluniversity health system of eastern carolinay and they should get about beginning to fix this mess immediately.

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