Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D. Blog

Thoughts and ideas on healthcare

Hi, and welcome to my blog! I'm Susan E. Mazer -- a knowledge expert and thought leader on how the environment of care impacts the patient experience. Topics I write about include safety, satisfaction, hospital noise, nursing, care at the bedside, and much more. Subscribe below to get email notices so you won't miss any great content.

Chasing the Rainbow of Health Care Reform

November 8, 2013

RainbownewIf I think about how many rainbows I have seen in my life, none have been as stunning as the absolutely vivid and full one, end-to-end, that I saw in Reno a couple of years ago. It followed an amazing lightning storm that I am sure set off a couple of brush fires.

But, in all of that, there the rainbow was. Breathtaking.

We are in thunderstorms that sometimes leave us wet and other times just light up the sky with electric sparks to help us see beyond ourselves. Whether it’s a health crisis that makes us vulnerable, an organizational shift that knocks us off our seats, or an economic confrontation that makes us sit up straight lest we fall — rainbows always follow the storms.

If health care reform is the thunderstorm today and we are blinded by the rain, the lightning is the reminder that we must take full notice of where and why we are here.

The current focus on the patient experience is the direct outcome of our blindness to the patient experience. The current shock of insurance company policy cancellations and rising costs are a direct result of our blindness (and deafness) to all of this happening around us all along.

As a self-employed musician and business owner, I have always been in pursuit of health insurance. I had a policy years ago with Great Republic Life. For three years I’d never filed a claim. My premium was $227/month with a high deductible. I was young. Healthy.

Then, one month I got notice of a premium hike to $587/month. Only a month later, the entire master policy was cancelled, leaving 40,000 people without insurance — most of whom had pre-existing conditions.

So, for those of you who think health care reform is changing the way insurance companies act, it’s not. This time, however, policies must meet bare minimum requirements. Those that do not must be cancelled and replaced with better policies.

It is pouring rain. But health care providers continue to care for the ill and all moves forward. The only real change is in the insurance policies.

Rain, rain, go away.

But, alas, here it is, on this very day.

The thunder and lightening and the winds that blow.

Will surely be replaced with a stunning rainbow.