Financial Planning Association of New Jersey (FPANJ) has launched a Women’s Group and their inaugural event touched on a hot-button topic: health care costs and the Affordable Care Act. The group invited Dr. Alieta Eck to speak on How Women Can Solve the Health Care Crisis last week and her message was well-received among the financial professionals.
“Dr. Eck’s message of reducing costs resonated with our group, especially because we are always working with clients to manage their money, and recent changes in the health care system have proved challenging for many,” Trish Scott, Chairman of the Women’s Group said. “She shared a vision of positive change for the health care in the near future that was enthusiastically received.”
Startling to most in attendance were the statistics comparing the rise in health administrators (more that 3500 percent) to doctors (approximately 100 percent) since 1970. It’s this addition to the health care bureaucracy that Dr. Eck points to for making affordable health care unaffordable for many patients.
Dr. Eck explains: “If you have a single mother who has to pay $268 per month for a premium, that’s a lot of money. But if you add a medical problem to that mix, most bronze plans require a $6000 deductible, which skyrockets those costs.”
She also explained that the measures of a good doctor between patients and bureaucracies are vastly different, much to the detriment of the patient-doctor relationship:
“Patients measure a doctor on their experience, how well they listen, how much they care. Bureaucracies focus on things like ‘clinical quality metrics,’ and maintenance of certification. In the end they view a good doctor as one who earns and spends less so the bureaucracy can earn more.”
Dr. Eck and husband Dr. John Eck founded the Zarephath Health Center, a free clinic for the poor and uninsured that currently cares for 300-400 patients per month utilizing the services of volunteer physicians and nurses. She explained they spend $13 per patient because of the volunteer staff, and is working with New Jersey lawmakers to pass the Volunteer Medical Professional Health Care Act in the Senate. The bill provides malpractice protection for doctors in their private practice if they volunteer four hours every week at a non-governmental free clinic such as Zarephath.
Dr. Eck explained the new law could also provide a way to “Help the poor without fleecing the public” with the cost of bureaucracy. The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Robert Singer, District 30; and Sen. Brian P. Stack, District 33.