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'... The far more interesting story is, What if?'

By Dr. David C. Pate, News and Community
November 30, 2012

Today, The New York Times released its online story concerning Saint Alphonsus’ lawsuit against St. Luke’s Health System attempting to stop our acquisition of the Saltzer Medical Group. Here is a link to that story

To me, the report was a real missed opportunity. I’d hoped our Triple Aim, accountable care, and our transition to value-based payment methodologies, all of which I’d talked to the reporter about, would capture the national imagination. In my opinion, the news is that after nearly three years of public turmoil over health care reform, and seemingly few answers to our mounting federal deficit, fiscal cliff, and spiraling health care costs, St. Luke’s Health System in Idaho is trying to drive change to lower health care costs.

It may not be proven that we can be successful, but how many others have offered up solutions? Who is actually doing anything to lower health care costs and insurance premiums?  Who else has even said publicly that they have some ideas?

We of St. Luke’s are bold enough to think that we have some solutions to what is wrong with health care. I’m no journalist, but to me the far more interesting story is, What if?

What if a few brave health systems across the country actually try to find solutions to our health care problems? What if, in fact, it’s possible? These are the important stories that might actually advance our national discussion and interests.

About The Author

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.