West Metro Business Breakfast Tackles Health Care

Photo from 11-12-13 Meeting

By Attorney Patrick Noaker

There was a great turnout for the November West Metro Business Breakfast hosted by the Minnetonka-based Noaker Law Firm.  The Breakfast is developing into a great source for business networking for Deephaven, Minnetonka and Wayzata-based businesses.  This month, Jana Johnson, Sr. Vice President of Operations for Medica Health Plans spoke about the current landscape of health care and the many changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

According to Jana, there are good things happening that will change the way that health care is delivered and the way that health care is paid for.  Despite its flaws, the ACA has provided a mechanism for fundamental change in health care that has been historically illusive.   The new philosophy is to keep patients healthier.  Healthy patients do not need expensive specialists or expensive hospital stays.

Jana gave an example of an innovative Minnesota nursing home that changed its tried and true procedure of waking the residents at the morning shift change for breakfast.  Instead, the facility began allowing the residents to wake up when they were ready to wake up and eat breakfast when they were ready to eat breakfast.  This small change cut the amount of psychiatric medication dispensed by 50% and dramatically reduced the number of food choking incidents as well.  Apparently, some of the residents were not getting enough sleep which caused psychiatric symptoms for which the residents were prescribed psychiatric medications.  Tired residents also have higher incidents of choking.  This one small change resulted in healthier residents and reduced health care costs.  Jana told the group that this new healthier patient philosophy will spark significant innovation in the health care industry.

In addition to Jana speaking, she also conducted some informal market research with the group.  This led to robust discussions about technology and customer service in health care.  It was quite clear that Medica is working very hard to simplify the customer experience and constantly improve their products and systems.

The next West Metro Business Breakfast is scheduled for December 17, 2013 at 7:15 am at the Beanhaven Cafe, 18154 Minnetonka Blvd., Deephaven.  Call or email host attorney Patrick Noaker (612) 839-1080 or patrick@noakerlaw.com with any questions.

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