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Beth Giesting

The state's inaugural health care coordinator is tasked with implementing the new federal health care law in Hawaii, as well as making medical services here more efficient and less costly

By Lee Catterall

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 09, 2011

~~<p>QUESTION: Hawaii health insurance premiums are rising at nearly twice the rate of inflation, which is very frustrating. Can you explain what's causing that and what can be done?</p>
<p>ANSWER: I think the problems we have are numerous and they're certainly not simple. We have a structure where there's runaway cost, and even though there's lot of regulation in health care, there is not really regulation that helps us manage the cost in a more effective way. So we have a system that rewards lots of procedures, lots of high-tech services. It really rewards growing the extent of the system, but it doesn't reward trying to improve the health of populations, trying to manage care in a more effective way. It doesn't reward primary care and the basic services that everybody needs.</p>
~~

QUESTION: Hawaii health insurance premiums are rising at nearly twice the rate of inflation, which is very frustrating. Can you explain what's causing that and what can be done?

ANSWER: I think the problems we have are numerous and they're certainly not simple. We have a structure where there's runaway cost, and even though there's lot of regulation in health care, there is not really regulation that helps us manage the cost in a more effective way. So we have a system that rewards lots of procedures, lots of high-tech services. It really rewards growing the extent of the system, but it doesn't reward trying to improve the health of populations, trying to manage care in a more effective way. It doesn't reward primary care and the basic services that everybody needs. Login for more...



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