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This Week's Editorial
Thinking About Health PDF Print E-mail
Written by Trudy Lieberman, Rural Health News Service   

Shopping for health care isn’t like buying computers

Imagine a world where you could shop for medical procedures the way you shop for computers. Most likely, price is near the top of your list when you’re looking for a new computer. Not so when the “product” is a hip replacement or an MRI. Generally, what the procedure costs is largely irrelevant. And doctors will make the decision about where the surgery will take place.

For years, health policy researchers as well as some employers have tried to build a case for changing the way Americans buy medical services. Their goal is to use competition to force doctors and hospitals to lower their prices. The theory is that if zillions of women avoid mammography centers that charge high prices, those prices will drop. Consumers will vote with their feet.

It’s the kind of medical cost containment that health policy expert Kieke Okma calls “aspirational” cost containment rather than tougher controls that would be obtained through government negotiation with providers.

And while price transparency — the opportunity to easily see what various doctors and hospitals will charge — has become the holy grail of cost containment, we’ve yet to construct a health care market that’s as transparent as the market for computers and other consumer goods.

To view the full article, consider an e-Subscription to the Enterprise! Call 970-854-2811.

Holyoke Enterprise February 26, 2015

Extension Corner PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tracy Trumper, CSU Extension agent   

What is Extension?

According to the dictionary, extension is “the act of extending or the condition of being extended.” That is almost exactly how I explain what Extension is when someone asks me what it is or what I do.

Colorado State University is a land-grant university that was designed by the federal government over 100 years ago to “extend” its research out into communities throughout the state. This research at the beginning of the 20th century was used to help farmers and ranchers improve their practices to enhance their productions.

Thus, the birth of Extension agents, the educators of Colorado State University Extension working and living in the communities they serve.

Soon after the construction of CSU Extension came the youth program supported by Extension called 4-H. So, now the youth are supported and educated in areas of agriculture and managing a home through the interaction and instruction of knowledgeable adults.

So, Extension is 4-H, and agriculture — yes. Oh, don’t forget, Extension is a part of the county fair. All county fairs have Extension employees working with local fair boards in the development and execution of the yearly fair. What a great way to showcase what the youth learn and experience through the local 4-H programs! The local residents can come together to share their knowledge and expertise, while showing pride in the community they live in to the rest of the state.

To view the full article, consider an e-Subscription to the Enterprise! Call 970-854-2811.

Holyoke Enterprise February 26, 2015

Another Perspective PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lori Pankonin, The Imperial Republican   

Can a tablecloth really drain that much energy?

My story continues about the effects of clearing clutter. Oh my. We’ve been making a conscious effort to purge, purge, purge at home. Our office staff is also jumping on board to eliminate all the unnecessary stuff. It’s quite the process when it involves years of accumulation.

I’m believing more and more in the Feng Shui philosophy and took particular interest in expert Karen Kingston’s comment of how we hold on to things that actually create negative energy.

Such was the case of the tablecloth. The very lightweight pretty gold cloth had remained on our dining room table several weeks since Thanksgiving dinner. Who would have thought that it had such significance in my mental psyche?

I brought the pretty piece home from a storage unit we cleared out for others more than three years prior.

First of all, it was unfortunate to think that a monthly payment had been made for six years to store stuff that should have been kept only for a short interim time period. That $5,000 could have come in real handy to cover other expenses for those involved.

To view the full article, consider an e-Subscription to the Enterprise! Call 970-854-2811.

Holyoke Enterprise February 26, 2015