Health Care Reform

(Note: This interview originally aired back in January.) What if you had an app on your smartphone that could tell precisely how much a certain medical procedure was going to cost...before you even visited the doctor or called your health insurance company? Sounds like a rather great (and overdue) idea, no? Such an app is in development these days, right here in our community. On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, guest host John Schumann speaks with Matt Scovil and Nathan Gilchrist, the two co-founders of a company called Medefy.

On this edition of ST, we are joined by Craig Jones, who is President of the Oklahoma Hospital Association. Given the recent cuts in both Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, large cuts in federal reimbursement costs for uninsured patients, as well as ongoing transformations in standards of care, medical technology, and qualitative outcomes, times are tough these days for hospitals, especially rural hospitals. Nationwide, 673 rural hospitals are considered "on the edge" -- and here in Oklahoma, it's estimated that more than three dozen rural hospitals are facing a troubled future.

On this installment of StudioTulsa on Health, we learn about Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition of hospitals, health care systems, medical professionals, environmental health organizations, and similar groups. This coalition was formed in 1996, shortly after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified medical waste incineration as the leading source of dioxin emissions in this country.

What if you had an app on your smartphone that could tell precisely how much a certain medical procedure was going to cost...before you even visited the doctor or called your health insurance company? Sounds like a rather great (and overdue) idea, no? Such an app is very much in development these days, right here in our community. On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host John Schumann speaks with Matt Scovil and Nathan Gilchrist, the two co-founders of a company called Medefy.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we learn about a non-profit called WellOK, which was formed in 2014, and which bills itself as "the Northeastern Oklahoma Business Coalition on Health." It's a coalition of 17 locally based organizations, including businesses large and small that purchase healthcare as well as government and philanthropic organizations.

On this edition of ST, an interesting exit interview with John W. Silva; the CEO of Morton Comprehensive Health Services here in Tulsa will leave this post next month to assume a similar job in his native Massachusetts. Silva has been at the helm of Morton since 2010. Under his leadership, it has expanded from its North Tulsa headquarters to additional locations in Bartlesville and west Tulsa and has moreover become Oklahoma's only community health center-based teaching facility.

KWGS News

There are more than 630-thousand Oklahomans without medical insurance coverage. It impacts those that do have insurance, and the issue is a major topic discussed at a health care forum in Tulsa today. President of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, Craig Jones, says in 2013 hospitals in the state gave over $550-million in care to those without insurance. He says that cost has to be shifted, so it’s borne by those with insurance and companies that privately insure their employees.

On this episode of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host Dr. John Schumann speaks with reporter April Dembosky, who covers health care issues and medical news for public-radio station KQED in San Francisco (and also for NPR, on occasion). Dembosky recently participated in a segment on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered that carried the headline "Calif.

At the end of 2014, a surprising announcement appeared in the Tulsa World. A subsequent news item expanding on this announcement had the following headline: "Morton Clinics Won't Accept New Uninsured Patients, Citing State Cuts to Funding." Morton Comprehensive Health Services -- with clinics in Tulsa, Nowata, and Bartlesville -- is one of Northeastern Oklahoma's leading providers of health care for uninsured patients.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host John Schumann speaks with Dr. Donald Berwick, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. A pediatrician by background, Dr. Berwick is also a former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and he has served on the faculties of the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as the staffs of Boston's Children's Hospital Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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