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Inauguration Day and the Future of Health Care

By Rick Pollack
January 19, 2017

Inauguration Day ushers in a new era of change in Washington. Republicans and Democrats will assemble together to watch Donald Trump take the oath of office, and to celebrate the peaceful passing of power that is a hallmark of our democracy. Meanwhile, across America, health care needs don’t take a day off. Inauguration Day is still a busy day for the women and men who work at our hospitals and health systems, and I’ve heard from many of you who wonder what the Trump Administration... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: advocacy, leadership, members

Community service

By AHA STAT Staff
January 19, 2017

Ken Fawcett, M.D., Spectrum Health’s vice president of Healthier Communities in Grand Rapids, Mich., knows what it takes to build healthier communities. Healthier Communities’ outreach to Western Michigan’s underserved residents is why Spectrum Health has received the 2016 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. The AHA will present the award to Spectrum Health May 9 at the association’s annual membership meeting in Washington, D.C.

Through the years, Spectrum... read more

Topic: Community Health
Tags: population health, Community health, access

Equity and Diversity in Health Care in 2017

By Rick Pollack
January 13, 2017

This Monday, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day—a day in honor of a man who roused the conscience of a nation. When Dr. King preached his message of peace years ago, segregation was common in our country. Some segregated hospitals outright refused to admit African-American individuals. Five decades later, our country continues strengthening the moral compass Martin Luther King Jr. provided—discrimination is outlawed and racism has no place in American life, including... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tag: equity

Hospital Mergers Promote Value and Quality

By Melinda Reid Hatton
January 10, 2017

JAMA today published the report “How Would the Next President Ensure Competitiveness in the Health Care Marketplace?” which discusses consolidation. The drive to build a continuum of care that rewards value over volume is unlikely to abate because it’s what consumers demand. Building that continuum of care requires that hospitals, physicians and other caregivers work more closely together than ever to control costs and increase quality. Rather than diminishing those goals, newer... read more

Topic: Quality and Patient Safety
Tag: consolidation

Hospitals Must Respond as Congress Begins Repealing Parts of the ACA

By Rick Pollack
January 6, 2017

This week, lawmakers in Washington were sworn in for the new session of Congress – and Republicans took the first step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act. The Senate introduced a budget resolution implementing a special legislative process called reconciliation that could repeal some, though not all, of the provisions of the ACA. The reconciliation process only requires 51 votes in the Senate, providing the majority party a path without the need for Democratic support.... read more

Topics: Access and Coverage, Advocacy and Public Policy

The AHA's Strategic Plan is our roadmap for the future

By Rick Pollack
January 5, 2017

The AHA’s 2017-2020 Strategic Plan is the result of significant deliberation, study, and hard work by AHA’s Board of Trustees, governance committees, and staff, after much input and guidance from you, our membership. We heard from you and responded with a plan that is designed to provide a quick overview of the forces influencing the field, our shared commitments and a roadmap for getting there during this time of transformation.

 The only constant in our chosen field of health... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: advocacy, governance, leadership, members

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

By Rick Pollack
December 21, 2016

Go to your local hospital, and you’ll see the women and men who work there filled with compassion for those under their care. You’ll see them brighten the day of someone in need with the smallest gesture. And you’ll see them strive to give their patients just a little bit more—a little more health and wellness to enrich their lives, or a little more time with loved ones and family. In other words, the women and men of America’s hospitals embody the spirit of the holiday season. And... read more

Topic: Community Health

What the HAC is going on?

By Nancy Foster
December 20, 2016

The Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, or HAC program, by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS), is broken. In yesterday’s American Journal of Medical Quality, the AHA and our research partners at KNG Health Consulting, Network for Excellence in Health Innovation and the Association of American Medical Colleges published an article outlining the inherent bias in the formula used to calculate the HAC penalties for hospitals and health systems.

The way the... read more

Topic: Quality and Patient Safety
Tags: quality improvement, quality care, quality, patient safety, HAC

The Repeal and Replace Debate

By Rick Pollack
December 16, 2016

When the 115th Congress convenes January 3, repealing the Affordable Care Act will be a priority for the Republican leadership. It’s unclear, however, if Congress will repeal the ACA while simultaneously pairing it with legislation to guarantee coverage for those who will lose it, or if it will pass repeal legislation with a transition period to allow for a future replacement plan. The hospital community’s top priority, without a doubt, is to ensure coverage for the 21 million... read more

Topics: Access and Coverage, Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Coverage, access

CDC Launches Opioid Prescribing Guideline Resources for Providers

By Jay Bhatt, D.O.
December 16, 2016

This week, the CDC launched a suite of new opioid prescribing guideline resources for providers, including a mobile app and video series. This is a follow-up to their CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, launched last spring, to encourage safer and more effective pain management. 

According to the CDC, “The new Opioid Guide App makes it easier to apply the recommendations in the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain into clinical practice by... read more

Topic: Quality and Patient Safety
Tags: quality care, physician issues, Behavioral health, opioids
 

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