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.


Part 4: Summary and Recommendation

In the first three parts to this series, we addressed the character of medical services, the role of private insurance and the history of hospital regulations. We argued that medical services are not a purely private good; thus, the local community should have a significant role in determining which services would be both desirable and financially sustainable. Our second segment described the history of how private insurance developed and became embedded in our workplace culture through the exemption from income taxes for employer sponsored insurance. The third posting in our series characterized the history of state and federal regulations of medical care in general and hospital services

Part 3. A Brief History of Health Care Regulation

For the first roughly seventy years of the last century health care services were regulated primarily by health care organizations themselves (internal hospital medical review committees, hospital industry controlled accreditation agencies-e.g. Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals and Health Facilities), and state Medical Examining Boards (largely controlled by physicians). The single exception to this rule was the Hill-Burton Act of 1946 which included a degree of federal planning within a program designed to increase the number and improve existing hospital facilities in the United States. Except for this act, federal or state government regulation directed at this sector of

Part 2. A Brief History of "Private" Health Care

Prior to 1920 most medical care was paid directly from patient to provider. If insurance was purchased it was more likely to be “sickness insurance” which paid insureds for lost wages during illness. In addition, the quality of medical and hospital care was questionable at best. Commercial insurers generally avoided writing health care policies (other than the aforementioned sickness policies designed to replace wages lost to illness). As a direct result of the Flexner report in 1910, changes in medical education and hospital accreditation in the late 1910s and through the 1920s began to improve the quality of medical care. The number of physicians decreased due to more stringent educational


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