According the newspaper article “Piden a la Junta Fiscal prioridad para la salud”, published on September 6, 2016 on El Nuevo Día, the College of Administrators of Health Services of Puerto Rico (CASS) has requested an analysis of the country’s health system. Ramón Alejandro Pabón, President of CASS, stated that there are is reliable data that present the reality of the health industry in Puerto Rico and that impedes the implementation of a public policy, therefore he proposes the creation of a commission independent from the health system, that within its powers, has the faculty to gather trustworthy data, eliminate the health system’s bureaucracy and established a real picture of Puerto Rico’s actual situation. Pabón believes that the help from the Fiscal Control Board is necessary in order to achieve a parity of funds and access to other forms of income that guaranty better services for patients. He also believes that health must have a higher priority.
Pabón also express his concerns over the access to resources by patients from the health reform due to the differences between the Medicare tables that apply to Puerto Rico. He believes that around 150,000 patients could found themselves without the health reform if the Fiscal Control Board demands that the reform be limited to the tables established by Medicare, having said patients then to go to the emergency rooms in order to be treated.
Pabón also proposes a Medicare “vouchers” plan or program, through which patients would be buying a healthcare plan according to an established amount in those vouchers, creating then competitiveness between healthcare providers which in turn would cause them to offer better services that covers the patients necessities, better options among hospitals, economic increase, decrease among the people who leave the country and hospitals would not be forced to close down floors.
The CASS has also demanded the need that Medicare treats Puerto Rico the same as the rest of the states. According to the article, contrary to the states, in Puerto Rico Medicare is limited by the limits established by the Federal Government and the necessary funds to cover the Medicare program’s necessities, which exceed the limits, come from the local funds, contributing to the deficit which the country is going through.
The article also expresses that recently it has been rumored the possibility of decreasing the federal funds budget regarding the Medicare and Medicaid programs for the year 2017 to the amount of $1,200,000.00. According to the healthcare representatives, if the Fiscal Control Board were to accept said action, Puerto Rico’s health system could collapse
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