HEALTH REFORM: Health CEOs for Health Reform
Very rarely is an industry willing to reform itself. But a diverse coalition of six CEOs from across the health care industry came together yesterday to form Health CEOs for Health Reform (HC4HR). The group brings together leaders from across the health care industry who share a unique willingness to transform their business models to create a more sustainable health system.
The founding six CEOs of HC4HR are:
- Bruce Bodaken, Chairman and CEO of Blue Shield of California;
- Lloyd H. Dean, President and CEO of Catholic Healthcare West;
- Kenneth Frazier, President of Global Human Health for Merck & Co.
- Patricia Gabow, CEO of Denver Health
- Gary Kaplan, Chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle;
- Nicholas Wolter, CEO of the Billings (Mont.) Clinic.
The CEOs unveiled their new coalition in an event at the National Press Club yesterday (video below) and you can find statements from each of the group's members in this press release. The group's efforts will be facilitated by the New America Foundation's Health Policy Program, directed by Len Nichols.
HC4HR is built on the following three principles:
- Health reform is an urgent priority for our nation and should not be postponed.
- Meaningful health reform entails both quality, affordable health coverage for all and delivery system reform. This will require all stakeholders to move away from "business as usual."
- A more sustainable health system will require all health care stakeholders to offer and accept changes to their business models as part of a catalytic package that will better serve everyone.
The group hopes to lead by example, moving past broad policy concepts toward "detailed blueprints that reconcile the legislative goals and principles of lawmakers with the operational realities of our health care system."
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) provided a Congressional keynote for the event, stressing the importance of health reform in our national agenda and applauding the leadership shown by HC4HR.
Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) also issued statements welcoming the group's formation. Kennedy commended "the health industry CEOs for their willingness to work together to respond to one of the most important challenges facing our country in this new century," and Baucus said, "This group certainly adds to the momentum for all stakeholders to come together and work toward comprehensive health care reform"