Chattanooga Area Under Flood Warning; High Winds Expected Saturday Night

Alexander Says Expanded Access To Primary Care Can Help Reduce Health Care Costs

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander today said, “Expanded access to primary care can help reduce health care costs.”
 
“Dr. Lee Gross, of Florida testified at this committee’s fifth hearing on the cost of health care,” Senator Alexander said. “He told us that after seven years as a primary care doctor, he had an epiphany: too many government mandates and insurance companies were getting between doctors and patients and making primary care more expensive than it needed to be.
So in 2010, Dr. Gross created one of the first Direct Primary Care practices. Instead of working with insurance companies and government programs, Dr. Gross’ patients pay him a flat monthly fee directly: $60 a month per adult, $25 a month for one child, and $10 a month for each additional child. Dr. Gross is one of more than 300,000 primary care doctors in the United States who most of us go to see for day-to-day medical care–receiving vaccines, like the flu shot, annual physicals and help managing chronic conditions, like diabetes.”
 
Senator Alexander said Dr. Gross’ practice is a good example of how a primary care doctor can help reduce costs: “The first way Dr. Gross [helps reduce costs] is by helping with his patients’ wellness. Second, by keeping you out of the emergency room. And third, primary care is patients’ access point to more advanced care.”
 
“I believe we can empower primary care doctors, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to go even a step further,” Senator Alexander said. “Even if information on the cost and quality of health care is easily accessible, patients still have trouble comparing different health care options. For example, earlier this year, hospitals began to post their prices online, as required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but to the average consumer, this information has proved to be incomprehensible. And while the data may be incomprehensible today, it is a ripe opportunity for innovation from private companies, like Health Care Bluebook, a Tennessee company that testified at a hearing last fall, and non-profit organizations to arrange the data so primary care doctors can help their patients to have better outcomes and better experiences at lower costs.
 
“Employers are increasingly taking an active role in their employees’ health and in the cost of health care. One of our new committee members, Senator Braun, was an employer of a thousand people and was aggressive about helping his employees reduce health care costs. Like primary care doctors, more good data could help employers like Senator Braun more effectively lower health care costs.”
 
Senator Alexander made his remarks today at a hearing to hear from witnesses about how primary care can play a role in lowering health care costs and improving outcomes, and explored innovative ways to improve access to affordable primary care.
 
The Senate health committee held five hearings last Congress on reducing health care costs. At the first hearing on reducing health care costs, the committee established a common understanding of how much health care costs; at the second hearing, the committee explored ways to reduce unnecessary health care spending; at the third hearing, the committee focused on ways to reduce the administrative burden on doctors and hospitals; and at the fourth hearing, the committee focused on finding ways to improve access to information about the cost and quality of health care for patients. At the fifth and final hearing of the series, the committee examined what the private sector is doing to encourage innovation and what Washington can do to get out of the way to lower costs.
 
You can read Senator Alexander’s full prepared remarks here.

VA Benefits Discussion To Be Held Feb. 26 At Morning Pointe Of Chattanooga

IHOP Restaurants Free Pancake Day Benefitting Children’s Hospital At Erlanger

East Ridge Cloggers Perform At Morning Pointe


Morning Pointe of Chattanooga – Shallowford, 7719 Shallowford Road in Chattanooga, is hosting a discussion, "Best Kept Secret in the Military, A Discussion about VA Benefits," on Tuesday, Feb. ... (click for more)

Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, is gearing up for IHOP’s Free Pancake Day on March 12. IHOP’s Free Pancake Day aims to raise needed funds to provide ... (click for more)

The East Ridge Cloggers entertained the residents of Morning Pointe of Chattanooga – Shallowford with their fancy footwork. Performers Sue Wright, Sally Ann Gagliardi, Jane Meadows, Kathy ... (click for more)


Living Well

VA Benefits Discussion To Be Held Feb. 26 At Morning Pointe Of Chattanooga

Morning Pointe of Chattanooga – Shallowford, 7719 Shallowford Road in Chattanooga, is hosting a discussion, "Best Kept Secret in the Military, A Discussion about VA Benefits," on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 3-4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Guest speaker will be Mike Verble with Verble Estate Preservation and Advisors, LLC. Topics of discussion include: ... (click for more)

IHOP Restaurants Free Pancake Day Benefitting Children’s Hospital At Erlanger

Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, is gearing up for IHOP’s Free Pancake Day on March 12. IHOP’s Free Pancake Day aims to raise needed funds to provide life-saving technology and facilities to pediatric patients. IHOP guests can receive a free short stack of its world-famous buttermilk pancakes on Free Pancake Day from 7 a.m. to ... (click for more)

Breaking News

New Round Of Heavy Rain May Bring Significant Flooding To Chattanooga Area; High Wind Also Expected

A new round of heavy rain may bring significant flooding in the Chattanooga area, according to the National Weather Service. A Flood Warning covers Hamilton, Marion and Sequatchie counties. The forecast includes up to two inches of additional rain. High gusts of wind are also expected with the latest storm. Some locations that will experience flooding include Chattanooga, ... (click for more)

Mudslide Washes Away Subway Restaurant At Foot Of Signal Mountain; Nearby Employee Says: "It's Gone"; Flooding Closes Numerous Roads

A mudslide on Saturday morning washed away the Subway restaurant at the foot of Signal Mountain. "The Subway is gone," an employee of the nearby Shuford's Barbeque, said. She said a large amount of mud and debris washed down from the steep hillside behind the buildings. No one was inside the Subway. It had closed on Friday after a tree fell on it. The location is ... (click for more)

Opinion

Lights Out At The Brainerd Tunnel

Will someone please check into why the Brainerd Tunnel lights are off all week? This is the tunnel going from McCallie Avenue to Brainerd Road. The lights have been off all week. I called the city of Chattanooga at 311 and a lady said that was under jurisdiction of TDOT. She transferred me. I left a detailed message with my phone number, date and time. No return phone call ... (click for more)

Rep. Ron Travis: Weekly Wrap

House Republicans Unveil The CARE Plan Groundbreaking legislation to increase access, improve rural health and empower patients This week in Nashville, House Republican leaders unveiled a patient-centered, free market approach to transform healthcare in Tennessee by unveiling the CARE plan. This legislative package includes 11 different initiatives that will all reshape ... (click for more)