Word from the White House: Hospitals Reaffirm Commitment to America's Seniors

It's no secret that institutions of all stripes focus their communications on certain messages day to day. We thought it would all be a little more open and transparent if we went ahead and published what our focus will be for the day, along with any related articles, documents, or reports.

Supporting article: "Hospitals contradict CMS report," Politico, 11/17/09

Talking Points: Hospitals Reaffirm Commitment to America's Seniors

  • Yesterday, the Federation of American Hospitals reaffirmed that – despite reports to the contrary – nothing in health insurance reform will cause hospitals to end their participation in Medicare or stop serving America's seniors.
  • The Federation said, "Hospitals always will stand by senior citizens," and reiterated that hospitals are committed to "contribute substantial Medicare savings as part of our shared sacrifice to reform health care and achieve near universal coverage for all Americans."
  • Medicare is a sacred trust with America’s seniors, and health insurance reform will help ensure that trust is never broken.
    • Reform will extend the life of the Medicare trust fund while providing better, more affordable care for America’s seniors.

Talking Points: Controlling Costs for Families, Small Businesses, and the Government

  • President Obama has been clear from the beginning of this process that, in addition to providing security and stability for Americans with insurance and affordable options for uninsured Americans, reform must lower costs for American businesses, families, and the country as a whole.
  • And objective analysis finds that it will.
    • MIT Economist Jon Gruber reports that reform could a typical family thousands of dollars on health care costs.
    • And a recent study from the Business Roundtable confirms that legislation in Congress is moving in the right direction on cost containment and could reduce premiums by as much as $3,000 per employee.
  • The House and Senate versions of reform share a variety of measures that will reduce the rapid growth in health care costs while also providing Americans with higher quality care including:
    • Changing the way we handle hospitalizations, to prevent mistakes and to prevent unnecessary readmissions.
    • Creating incentives in the payment system to reward quality of care rather than just the quantity of procedures.
    • Giving physicians incentives to collaborate in the coordination of patient care.
    • Investing in research into what works and what doesn’t in health care.
    • Reducing hospital-acquired infections and other avoidable health-center acquired conditions through rigorous reporting and transparency.
    • Putting prevention first, rewarding care that focuses on wellness and treating the whole patient in an integrated and coordinated delivery system.
    • Tackling the insurance bureaucracy, streamlining the payment system to save time and money that is now spent processing claims and navigating through the byzantine insurance system.
    • Establishing a health insurance exchange with a public insurance option, where individuals and small businesses can buy lower-cost insurance that will spur competition and put downward pressure on costs.
  • And there are also ideas that will further control cost growth that have been proposed and are being looked at as the legislative process continues, such as:
    • A fee on insurance companies offering high-premium plans — which would create a strong incentive for more efficient plans that would help reduce the growth of premiums.
    • Establishing a Medicare commission — which would develop and submit proposals to Congress aimed at extending the solvency of Medicare, slowing Medicare cost growth, and improving the quality of care delivered to Medicare beneficiaries.
Related Topics: Health Care
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