Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WyoDems: "Health care professionals address reform and the state's needs‏"

Brianna Jones, the WyoDems' communications director, just issued this release about last night's health forum:

Four Wyoming health care providers addressed the health insurance reform proposals going through Congress, their experiences as health care providers, the state of health care in Wyoming and what reforms the state needs during a panel discussion in Cheyenne on Tuesday.

Dr. Brent Sherard, Wyoming Department of Health director and state health officer; Lorraine Saulino-Klein, RN; Mary Forrester, RN Family Nurse Practitioner; and Lance Proctor, MD; sat on the panel, which was sponsored by the Wyoming Democratic Party and the Laramie County Democratic Party.

An audience member asked where Wyoming would be in ten years if nothing is done and Dr. Sherard candidly answered that there will be a “substantial over expenditure in our budget.” He pointed to concerns about funding our health care with natural gas and said Wyoming needs to look at ways to diversify the economy. Dr. Sherard brought attention to the need to build infrastructure to better serve the larger pool of patients that will come with universal coverage.

He also spoke about the need for increased transparency. “People cannot evaluate what they are getting for their healthcare dollars,” explained Sherard. “There is no mechanism or vehicle to evaluate your health care provider.”

Both Mary Forrester and Lorraine Saulino-Klein stressed the problems that arise when patients neglect serious conditions because they do not have insurance and cannot afford care.

“We pay two times as much for our health care than other developed countries and have inferior outcomes,” said Lorraine Saulino-Klein.

There was consensus from the panel that a stronger push for preventative medicine is essential. Dr. Proctor said, “There needs to be incentives to have a healthier population so that we pay more for quality than quantity.”

Please direct questions to Brianna Jones (752-5288) or to panel members at
the following numbers:
Dr. Brent Sherard: 777-6778
Dr. Lance Proctor: 760-2012
Lorraine Saulino-Klein: 742-5107
Mary Forrester: 742-5202

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