Transforming the organization delivery, and financing of the medical care systems in the Fox Valley to achieve lower costs, higher quality, and better outcomes.

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The opinions expressed in this blog are primarily those of Merton D. Finkler Ph.D., retired Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Economics at Lawrence University and William McLaughlin retired Founder President and CEO of Those opinions are based upon many years of education, scholarship, teaching and industry experience. Read their biographies at "Meet the Team" and make your own judgments about the veracity of their opinions.


Message to Ascension and ThedaCare

Below is text of an email sent yesterday to Monica Hilt, CEO of Ascension Fox Valley and Megan Mulholland Director of Public Relations for Thedacare. We are now counting the number of days (weeks...months) until we receive a response. ____________________________________ Ms. Hilt/Megan: I am attaching a document titled: “Governance and Related Topics-501(c)(3) Organizations” that I found on the IRS website. The final section of this report (“Transparency and Accountability”) contains the following statement: "6. Transparency and Accountability By making full and accurate information about its mission, activities, finance, and governance publicly available, a charity encourages transparency a

A New Insurance Proposal for the Fox Valley

Update: Positive discussion with Mr. Nelson (and HR/Finance members of his staff) and Mr. Harris. Covered a lot of ground but will need more discussion...hopefully very soon. Today, we will meet with Thomas Nelson, Outagamie County Executive and Mark Harris, Winnebago County Executive to present a proposal that could dramatically change the insurance marketplace in the Fox Valley. Below is the memorandum that was sent to both Mr. Nelson and Mr. Harris earlier this week. We are seeking their assistance to convene a meeting of local counties, municipalities, and school districts that would consider this proposal. The text of the memorandum follows. We will provide an update later today. Februa

Community Benefit Standards: Are Local Provider Systems Meeting Community Needs?

Those of you who have been following our Facebook page and this website know that we have made requests of our local medical care systems for trustee membership, conflict of interest policies, corporate bylaws, and financial assistance policies. In every case our requests have been either met reluctantly and with significant delay (trustee membership, conflict of interest, financial assistance) or outright refusal (corporate bylaws) despite the repeated claim by these groups that they "serve the public". Not-for-profit hospital systems are required by law to develop and implement plans to meet their communities' health needs based upon an assessment of those needs. Modern Healthcare recently

"Fair Share" Calculation: What Should a Person or Family Pay for Medical Care?

We must start thinking about medical care insurance and costs in an entirely different way. That way has to do with limits and affordability. It may be that, as a society, we have developed a sense of "entitlement" concerning medical care expenses--at least for those with comparatively smaller copays, deductibles and premium sharing. What is the "fair share" that Fox Valley residents should be expected to pay for medical insurance? Lower income residents can afford less, higher income more; but, at each income level, how much should each be expected to pay for premiums, co-payments, and deductibles as well as pharmaceuticals? The following table is meant to generate a discussion; it is NOT


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