Geisinger chief says sequester is “stupid”

SUNBURY – Millions of dollars has been cut from cancer research at Geisinger…The president and CEO of Geisinger Health System is speaking out about how the sequester has negatively impacted medical research. Earlier this year, a series of mandatory spending cuts referred to as the ‘sequester,’ went into effect. They reduce the amount of funding available for a wide range of programs, including healthcare research.

Dr. Glenn Steele voiced his feelings on the sequester on WKOK’s Thursday On The Mark program. He said, “Sequester is really stupid. It’s a stupid way of attacking budget problems. For us, it subtracts two-million bucks a month from our ability to give care. We are big enough and we are good enough that we can make up for that and still give care, but indirectly, it does hurt research.” The sequester was supported by all area lawmakers.

Dr. Steele also talked about duplication of medical services and their effort to eliminate that. He said, “Everybody probably has experienced sometime in their life where they go to a doctor and they answer questions and they get studies done or x-rays. They go to another doctor, perhaps one that the first doctor has referred them to and they answer the same questions again and get repeat studies. That’s what we are trying to extract.”

He also discussed their focus on best practices at Geisinger. Dr. Steele said, “What we’ve tried to do is create a process where our men and women would get together and define best practice and would apply what they thought was best practice to every patient. What we found in almost all of our care was that leads to better outcome and lower costs.”

You can hear more from Dr. Glenn Steele on topics including best practices, duplication of services and health insurance costs on Thursday’s On The Mark program.

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