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"Not necessarily what this will mean for the delivery of care, but for jobs and for job growth in the healthcare sector," says Dr. Skinner. "For hiring new doctors."
If congress leads us off that cliff, it could be the place just around the corner that's affected. Health centers could see major cuts in federal funding.
"Everyone's paying attention," says CEO of Columbus Neighbor Health Centers Tom Horan. "We'll see what happens in the next few weeks."
There's 5 centers in the city and 2 more on the way. If we fall off the cliff, the centers see funding cuts.
"We may lose a position," says Horan. "We may lose a nurse practitioner. We may not be able to fill a position that's currently vacant."
"We rely on federal dollars, state dollars, local dollars to be able to function," says Medical Director Dr. Jeffrey Marable.
Dr. Marable says they have enough to worry about with implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Now it's the fiscal cliff. Whatever happens, this should be about solutions.
"The real question is how do we create a healthcare system that becomes more efficient?" says Dr. Skinner.
Good question. There are many answers, but we've narrowed it down to a few key points on reducing healthcare spending. Cut down on all the unnecessary testing, reward healthcare institutions for their results rather than the amount of care they provide, and empower patients with full knowledge of their options. Do this, and they tend to choose the least costly. 2 other key solutions: reduce Medicare fraud and move from sick care to preventative care models. As for the potential cuts:
"By definition Medicaid is not part of the current negotiations," says Dr. Skinner.
Though some fear that may change once a flurry of cuts is unleashed. Another worry is military healthcare once defense spending is slashed. As the nation nears the cliff, the message to Congress is clear:
"Get your act together and let's get this figured out," says Horan.
"People want Congress to be able to handle their business and come to some sort of consensus," says Marable.
Which may happen, because the thing about the fiscal cliff:
"Most people who look at it from a political perspective know it's not going to happen," says Dr. Skinner. "Because the political stakes are too high."
Tuesday, December 11 2012, 09:57 PM CST
Haslam's chief deputy Claude Ramsey to retire
June 19, 2013 16:41 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says chief deputy Claude Ramsey is retiring at the end of August to spend more time with his family in Chattanooga.
The Republican governor said in a news release on Wednesday that the 70-year-old Ramsey has been integral to his administration on key initiatives that include civil service reform, economic development efforts, workforce development training and improved operation of state government.
Ramsey was elected to the General Assembly in 1972 where he served four years in the House. He was Hamilton County's mayor for 16 years.
His last day on the job is August 31.
Porsche tops in annual survey of vehicle quality
DETROIT (AP) -- Porsche is the top performer in an annual survey of new vehicle quality.
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