SUMMIT, NJ - As we head into 2013, there are many hot button issues including gay marriage, school security, the fiscal cliff, gun control and healthcare. On Friday, Feb.1, Dr. Robert Brenner of Summit Medical Group addressed the healthcare issue at the Suburban Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast at the Grand Summit Hotel.
Brenner oversees and implements strategic growth and continuous improvement of care for individuals and populations, while ensuring the appropriate cost of care at Summit Medical Group—the largest for-profit, physician-owned multispecialty practice in New Jersey.
He is a spokesperson on the topic of healthcare reform and what it means for patients and physicians. In addition, he is well-known for his local, regional and national presentations on a wide range of healthcare topics, including value in healthcare, patient satisfaction and the meaningful use of health information technologies.
Brenner said he wasn’t there to advertise Summit Medical Group, but to help people understand the economic model of healthcare. The cost of health insurance is increasing and for a four person family it has risen to $21,000, he said.
“One of the big problems in healthcare today is that there’s no transparency,” Brenner said.
He said patients don’t know which physicians to go to and doctors are finding that people are asking things they haven’t asked before.
The Affordable Care Act, while it has good intentions, won’t actually cut costs for at least 10 years, he said. Costs are going to go up, which is deceiving to the public, Brenner said.
Looking at the big picture, healthcare in this country is in really bad shape, he said. People are spending way too much money as they get older and the outcome isn’t what it should be.
“We’re not doing a great job in the United States,” he said.
Legislators want to keep costs low and provide the best quality care for people, but this is quite challenging, Brenner said. Doctors have to decide who gets what medicine, how much, how long a patient can stay, when they can leave, and insurance factors into all of this.
He said it is also important for hospitals to become more integrated and close the gaps in communication between administrators, nurses and doctors. Everybody should be on the same page and know what’s going on, he said.
Etya Novik, owner of the Respira Salt Wellness Center in Berkeley Heights, said she found Brenner’s presentation very informative. The United States needs to look at Europe and see how much better their healthcare system is, she said.
“I thought it was just fascinating from my own experiences in healthcare,” Novik said.