It’s probably the biggest issue facing Americans today. It sways votes, makes or breaks political careers, and can mean the difference between life and death, literally, for a large segment of our population. The health care system in America isn’t working and no one seems to have the answer.
Enter two gentlemen who have a century of healthcare and pharmaceutical experience between them. Bill Ruse and Don Stansloski see a solution and have put it into print, hopefully to share with those who have the power to make major health care funding decisions. Their direct and uncomplicated book, “A Prescription for Healthcare Reform: Fact Book and Road Map,” is now available on Amazon.
Ruse’s resume reads like it’s been written for three or four individuals. It’s difficult to fathom how one man could accomplish so much. Starting his career as a pharmacist at Lima Memorial Hospital, Lima, Ohio, he joined the staff of Blanchard Valley Hospital, Findlay, in 1960. Eventually, he became president and CEO of its parent corporation, Blanchard Valley Health Association, and served for 36 years, retiring in 2001.
As a member of the University of Findlay Board of Trustees, Ruse served on the Executive and Business Affairs Committees and chaired the Compensation Committee. He also served on Advisory Boards for the College of Business Healthcare Management Program and the College of Pharmacy. The trustees appointed him Dana Chair in 2006 and again in 2010. Always interested in students and their new ideas, he was a member of the adjunct faculty in both the College of Business and College of Pharmacy. A licensed attorney, he completed law school while working full time.
Former Dean of the College of Pharmacy, Stansloski has consulted in both the pharmacy and computer/technology fields. While at Ohio Northern University (1972-95), he developed programming in clinical pharmacokinetics, academic recordkeeping, test grading and nutritional evaluation. Responsible for the development of the pharmacy program at the University of Findlay, he served as Dean until his retirement in 2014.
In addition to his work in Ohio, Stansloski has practiced hospital, community and clinical pharmacy in five states and Mexico. He traveled to Zimbabwe, Africa, on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1984, and has authored eight books, all aimed at educating the public about drugs and their proper use. He earned a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 1970.
Improving the System
Both men started the project with the belief that everyone needs to accept a role in building a healthcare system of excellence.
“We will all pay some, so none pays all,” said Stansloski. “That’s the idea of insurance. It’s a risk management business. People complain that they pay a high premium for prescription insurance and they don’t need any prescription medications. It’s not pre-paid. It’s risk management.”
Ruse added that some people feel they shouldn’t pay anything unless they, personally, are affected.
“They say, ‘I don’t need it and I won’t pay for it,’” stated Ruse. “It’s like senior citizens who won’t vote for school levies. With healthcare you could find yourself in the same spot as the person you’re refusing to help.”
A Prescription for Healthcare Reform is based upon restructuring Medicaid and putting it in the hands of the federal government. A summary of the book states that since the federal government is responsible for the aged and disabled through Medicare, it’s time to bring the safety net for the poor, women and children under the auspices of the federal government.
The authors believe that by taking the cost of Medicaid away from the states, they could free up funds to expand local health departments to provide pre and post-natal care to all women and the necessary healthcare for all children.
“France, the world’s number one health system, uses this approach,” said Ruse.
The book’s “prescription” also mandates long-term care insurance for everyone over 40 (financed by a 1 per cent payroll tax paid by employers and employees) and basing what the U.S. government pays for drugs on the average price paid by the governments of Canada and Mexico. It enlightens readers with the fact that the U.S. spends $1,112 per capita on drugs, while Canada spends $772.
Finally, Ruse and Stansloski state that a more efficient billing and coding system in the U.S. could save up to $200 billion. They feel that if we can develop software to drive our cars and drones that deliver goods to our doorsteps, we should be able to create a system that takes the results from all exams and services, applies the proper code(s) and sends a bill and collects payments.
Respecting the reach of social media, the authors hope the book “goes viral” and catches the attention of elected officials and those involved in crafting the nation’s healthcare policies.
“You can’t just take pieces of this book,” said Ruse. “Each step in isolation may not work, but taken together, they do.”
Having spent their entire professional lives in the healthcare industry, William Ruse and Don Stansloski stand ready to provide advice and guidance to those responsible for the nation’s health care delivery system. Those who know them can attest that they’re up to the task!
“A Prescription for Healthcare Reform: Fact Book and Road Map” is available in paperback and e-book.