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Flatlining: How Healthcare Could Kill The U.S. Economy

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How Healthcare Could Crash the Economy - And How We Can Stop It

Washington DC is stalemated on what to do with the Affordable Care Act. The Republican’s don’t have the votes for any “Repeal and Replace” bill and the Democrats don’t have the votes for a bill that would enhance or improve the ACA. The result of this stalemate means the current law will continue for at least the foreseeable future. The problem is, and this may be the only thing that both parties agree on, the ACA is in danger of imploding on its own if something isn’t done.

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Ron Howrigon

As we all watch the fate of the largest segment of the US Economy and hope that it doesn’t follow the examples set by the housing industry crash of 2008, many people are asking “what’s next?”

FLATLINING: HOW HEATLHCARE COULD KILL THE US ECONOMY, a new book by Ron Howrigon, President and CEO of Fulcrum Strategies explores the economic reality of a health care system seemingly on a crash course that could make the housing crisis look small by comparison. “Healthcare is the largest single segment of the US economy and its rapidly spiraling out of control,” the author writes. “This book can give readers an understanding of the health care industry, why its in trouble and what we need to do to fix it.”

The healthcare system is an industry that will personally touch all of us at some point in our lives. But as it consumes an ever-larger share of the U.S. economy, it also threatens our financial well-being. Especially as a new administration moves to "repeal or replace" or "fix" the Affordable Care Act, now is the time to gain a deeper understanding of the health industry.

That's the subject of FLATLINING: HOW HEALTHCARE COULD KILL THE U.S. ECONOMY, a new book by Ron Howrigon, President and CEO of Fulcrum Strategies. "Healthcare is the largest single segment of our economy and it is quickly spiraling out of control," the author writes. "This book can give readers and understanding of the healthcare industry, why it's in troubleand what needs to happen to fix it."

With 30 years of experience as a managed care executive, economist, and consultant, Ron Howrigon brings a uniquely broad perspective on the healthcare system and the view is an unsettling one. Healthcare has grown from 5 percent of the US economy in 1960, to over 15 percent in 2010. Noting the crippling economic impact of failure in the auto and housing markets - much smaller sectors of the economy - Ron Howrigon asks, "When will the health care bubble burst? How bad will it be and how exactly will it happen?"

FLATLINING: HOW HEALTHCARE COULD KILL THE U.S. ECONOMY presents a concise, comprehensible overview of the critical issues and challenges facing the economics of healthcare. Readers will learn about:

  • The unsustainable rate of inflation in the cost of health careand the "market adjustment" that could send the U.S. economy into a tailspin.
  • The three economic factors that explain why health care costs keep rising, and the changes necessary to reverse that trend.
  • The Affordable Care Act, six years on - its unanticipated effects on the healthcare system, and why the exchanges are at risk of failing.
  • How "Repeal and Replace" could set the stage for a meltdown of the US healthcare system.
  • The prescription for the cureseven areas where decisive action is needed to create a more sustainable model for healthcare.
  • How physicians and hospitals need to prepare for the "tectonic shift" in how they get paid.
"The U.S. healthcare system is a product of who we are and what we are as a country," Ron Howrigon writes. FLATLINING: HOW HEALTHCARE COULD KILL THE U.S. ECONOMY offers a clear-eyed look at how our health care system got to where it is today, and the critical decisions that will be needed to ensure its sustainability in the future.

  • Chapter 1: The Economics of Healthcare
  • Chapter 2: Follow the Money
  • Chapter 3: A Brief History of Healthcare and Insurance in America
  • Chapter 4: Healthcare Hyperinflation and the Uninsured
  • Chapter 5: The Affordable Care Act
  • Chapter 6: Healthcare Today
  • Chapter 7: Rationing
  • Chapter 8: Healthcare for the Next Five Years
  • Chapter 9: The Prescription for the Cure
  • Chapter 10: Value-Based Reimbursement
  • Chapter 11: The New Mindset
  • Chapter 12: Summary and Conclusions
Ron Howrigon

Ron Howrigon is President and Founder of Fulcrum Strategies. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University and a Master’s in Economics from North Carolina State University, focusing in the area of Health Economics.  Ron has 18 years' experience in the managed care industry as a negotiator and network manager, and has held senior management level positions with three of the largest managed care companies.  In 2004, he founded Fulcrum Strategies to provide contract negotiation services to physicians across the country. The company has grown into offering consulting services including marketing, strategic planning, merger and speaking services to physicians and other related companies.

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