The Amazing Maze of US Health Care » QMCSO – Say what?

Amazing seems a most appropriate word to describe the financing and delivery of health care services in the United States of America.
James L. McGee, CEBS--On Health Care Reform

QMCSO – Say what?

In my last post, I wrote that health care reform proposals need to focus on the patient side of the health care delivery system by designing systems that eliminate the cumbersome, even tortuous routes that patients must travel to enter that increasingly privileged space – a person with health insurance.

An illustrative example is the Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO).  QMCSOs apply to those children who live with one parent but the court orders the other parent to provide the health insurance.  The parent who has custody of the child is called, logically, the custodial parent.  The other parent is called, can you guess, the non-custodial parent.

Every child support agency in every county and state in the country has a bureaucracy for the purpose of enforcing and administering QMCSOs.  It does not matter why the parents are not together.  Some are divorces, but some were never married.  For a group of 25,000 Participants, my staff probably spends one to three days per month on issues related to QMCSOs.

Very little of that time is spent processing the paperwork.  Most of it is dealing with custodial parents, non-custodial parents, child support agencies (issuing agencies in bureaucratese), carriers, attorneys and other stakeholders.  In other words, our staff’s time is matched by someone else’s staff time.  I did an extrapolation to the US population.   It assumes our population is a representative sample of the general population.  By my estimate, it is costing the United States economy $100,000,000.

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