Washington, DC -- The New America Foundation today
welcomes the Billings Clinic, Blue Shield of California, Catholic Healthcare
West, Denver Health, Merck & Co., Inc., and the Virginia Mason Medical
Center as it announces
Health CEOs for Health Reform (HC4HR), a diverse coalition of health care
leaders who share a unique willingness to transform their business models to
create a more sustainable health system. This visionary outlook will allow
HC4HR to move 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.
"HC4HR will focus on helping
policymakers identify solutions that will ensure everyone has quality,
affordable health coverage within a system that delivers high value for every
health care dollar," said Len
Nichols, Director of the Health Policy Program at the
New America Foundation and HC4HR's
facilitator. "I could not be more excited about this initiative and am honored
to be facilitating the work of such a distinguished group of leaders," Nichols
"It's time for health industry
CEOs to step up and say what has to be said-that achieving coverage for all
will require each of us to change the way we do business. With regard to health
plans, that means giving up the right to pick and choose our customers based on
how healthy they are." said Bruce Bodaken, Chairman and CEO of Blue Shield of
"It is time for hospitals and
physicians to address the reality that healthcare costs too much and that our
current ways of financing and delivering healthcare are outdated and not
sustainable," said Lloyd Dean, President and CEO of Catholic Healthcare West.
"As providers, we must be accountable for the quality and affordability of the
care we deliver."
"Merck supports a new national
comparative effectiveness research (CER) effort as part of health system
delivery reform. We understand that payers, providers, and patients want better
evidence to make better coverage and treatment decisions, which will strengthen
the uniquely American competitive health care marketplace," said Kenneth
Frazier, President of Global Human Health for Merck & Co., Inc. "Merck
understands that a new focus on comparative effectiveness will likely change the
way Merck does business -- how we bring products to market and how we support the
value proposition of those products. We understand this change is needed in our
health system; therefore we have decided to support it and prepare for it. We
also hope to be able to influence the shape of the change -- to use our
experience in clinical trials and outcomes research to support development of a
truly practical and informative research endeavor," Frazier
"While our current economic
situation concerns us all, it also provides an unprecedented impetus to finally
transform our excessively costly and inadequately performing approach to health
care. We must change both our payment methods and our delivery of care. These
changes will demand visionary and courageous political leadership, willingness
of many components of American health care to forgo some of their current
profits, and all Americans to accept change if we are to achieve high quality
and affordable health care for all," said Dr. Patricia Gabow, CEO of Denver
"The U.S. health care system is fraught with waste and
reform can no longer be set aside," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Chairman and CEO of
Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. "I'm excited about being a part of an
innovative group of health care leaders known for their actions, not just their
talk. At Virginia Mason, we've worked hard for nearly a decade to reduce waste
and improve care for patients. We're eager to share our insights with government
leaders ready to tackle this enormous challenge."
delivery system reform is urgently needed. This will demand major change for
physicians and hospitals who must develop new organizational approaches which
better focus on coordinating care over time and across silos. Patient centered
care demands this, as does the need for true and effective provider
accountability in managing cost and quality. Payment reform, health information
technology, administrative simplification, reduction in conflict of interest,
and many other tactics will be required, but never has the need for leadership
from CEOs and others in the health care field become so essential," said
Nicholas Wolter, M.D., CEO of the Billings Clinic.
Members of HC4HR believe in 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.
Goals and Mission
HC4HR will demonstrate to the policy community and the American people that health industry CEOs and physicians are willing to be proactive leaders in calling for transformative reforms of our health system. These reforms include quality, affordable coverage for all and significant restructuring of our health care delivery system.
HC4HR will not protect outdated business models. Instead, it will work with lawmakers to identify policy solutions that meet the long-term goals of comprehensive health reform in a way that is operational and practical for health care leaders.
HC4HR will capitalize on its relationships with affinity organizations to nurture physician and stakeholder leadership. HC4HRs members will lead through example and encourage like-minded health care visionaries to join in their cause.
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