By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
ENID, Okla. —
A limited number of seats are available to hear the president of the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa speak in Enid next week.
Gerard Clancy is the keynote speaker at Enid Regional Development Alliance’s quarterly networking luncheon, slated 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 10 at Oakwood Country Club.
Clancy said the theme of his talk will be “Heath reform: The Affordable Care Act and beyond.”
“I’m talking about a lot of things that are pushing health reform,” Clancy said.
Some of those things are the increasing demand of an aging population and the shortage of physicians to serve Oklahoma residents. Fewer and fewer physicians are choosing Oklahoma, and as established physicians retire, less are coming along to pick up the load, Clancy said.
“We are way behind and we are predicted to be the worst,” Clancy said. “Within the next decade, we’ll have more doctors leaving than doctors coming in.”
Oklahoma does have about 1,000 physician residency slots, Clancy said. About 200 of those slots are filled with international medical school graduates.
Other factors pushing reform and change in the medical industry are employers who are pushing to not spend more money on health care.
Clancy said physicians and others in the medical industry are finding new ways to deliver health care based on the new way services will be paid. Employers and health insurance companies are shifting away from paying based on the number of patients seen. Instead, new payment methods reward outcomes, Clancy said.
Excessive hospital re-admissions will result in penalties for hospitals, as well. That means hospitals now must give thought to what situations patients will be in when they are released.
“What I’m seeing is the end of the solo practitioner,” Clancy said.
Clancy compares the changes in the U.S. system of health care to the changes that took place in aviation: As regulation has increased, safety has gone up and comfort has gone down.
“It actually will probably be safer, but for those who will have to pay economy class, it will be less comfortable,” Clancy said.
Debbie Hand, executive assistant for ERDA, said a few seats still are available for the luncheon and can be reserved in advance.
“Seating is extremely limited and is $15 per person,” Hand said. “They must RSVP by Friday noon.”
Registration fee is payable at the door. Credit cards will not be accepted, Hand said. To reserve a seat, call Hand at (580) 233-4232.
Clancy has been president of OU-Tulsa since 2006.
In 2002, Clancy received the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Community Psychiatry Award. He was given the Oklahoma State Medical Association’s 2003-2004 Award for Community Service in honor of developing a community partnership to improve access to care for the medically underserved.
Under Clancy’s leadership, the IMPACT team, a mobile psychiatric team, and the Bedlam Alliance for Community Health, have become a safety net for the medically underserved in northeastern Oklahoma.