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The Spirit of Memorial Day

By Rick Pollack
May 27, 2016

On Memorial Day we remember and honor the noble and brave men and women of our armed forces who gave their lives in the service of our country. Their ultimate sacrifice has defended our freedom and helps to safeguard our future. Our celebration of their lives ensures that their loss is not forgotten and that their spirit and patriotism lives on in the hearts of their families, their communities and our nation. We at the American Hospital Association, all of our members and the... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: leadership

Missouri's Block of Aetna-Humana Merger is Good for Consumers

By Allied Hospital Association
May 26, 2016

The following post is written by Herb B. Kuhn, President and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association and Jane Drummond, General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs of the Missouri Hospital Association.

This week, Missouri’s Department of Insurance announced it would block the merged Aetna and Humana from selling key lines of health insurance in the state because the combined organization would wield excessive market power. It was an important decision for providers and... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: acquisitions, consolidation, mergers, Coverage, access, antitrust

Striking a Balance with Transparency and Usefulness

By Nancy Foster
May 25, 2016

A blog post in Health Affairs poses the question: Will Hospitals Help or Hinder a Better Report Card? The answer is that hospitals and health systems have led the way in developing transparent reporting of quality and patient safety data. As a creator of Hospital Compare, a consumer-oriented website that provides information on how well hospitals provide recommended care to their patients, the hospital field strongly supports transparency, and leads in sharing quality and safety... read more

Topic: Quality and Patient Safety
Tags: quality, transparency

Community Behavioral Health Community Extends Beyond Traditional Health Care Space

By AHA STAT Staff
May 25, 2016

Hospitals and health systems are going above and beyond to address and treat the myriad behavioral health concerns in their communities.  To highlight and honor the dedicated women and men who care for and keep our communities health during Mental Health Month, the AHA sat down with members of the Sanpete Valley Behavioral Health Network.

Caregivers at Sanpete Valley Hospital, a critical access hospital in Mount Pleasant, Utah, knew they had to implement a plan to improve... read more

Topic: Community Health
Tags: Community benefit, Community health, Community Connections, Coverage, Mental health, Behavioral health, care coordination

The Hospital Bill: State of Play

By Rick Pollack
May 20, 2016

This week, the long-anticipated Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act (H.R.5273) was introduced by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), along with Health Subcommittee leaders Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Jim McDermott (D-WA). Markup could be as early as next week. We are continuing to closely review every aspect of the bill, but it includes two proposals that could help address items high on the AHA’s legislative agenda. First, the bill would adjust Section 603... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: readmissions

Hospitals innovating to improve behavioral health

By AHA STAT Staff
May 18, 2016

Hospitals across the country are addressing their communities’ behavioral health needs, often by working with local organizations to coordinate care beyond the walls of a hospital. Examples of these innovative partnerships can be found in AHA’s Community Connections case studies, among AHA award winners and through AHA’s Hospitals In Pursuit of Excellence

In Montana, for example, the Billings Clinic, Riverstone Health, St. Vincent Healthcare and South Central Mental Health Center... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: Community Connections, Coverage, Mental health, Behavioral health, opioids

Hospitals, not pharmaceutical manufacturers, are preserving and protecting the safety net

By Tom Nickels
May 17, 2016

A group financed by the pharmaceutical industry is hosting a meeting today on the 340B Drug Pricing Program with the goal of “Preserving the True Safety Net.” But what the meeting really will be about is the pharmaceutical industry – with their skyrocketing prescription drug prices and huge profits – discussing how they can continue to disparage a program with a 25-year history of increasing access to medications and health care services for people in vulnerable communities.

Let’s... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: 340B, Drug Pricing Program, Community benefit, access, drug prices

Momentum Building to Replace "All-or-Nothing" Approach to Meaningful Use

By Tom Nickels
May 16, 2016

Hospitals have made good faith efforts to comply with the multitude of requirements under the federal meaningful use program to adopt Electronic Health Records (EHRs). However, under the current approach, failure to meet any one of the requirements, even by a small amount, results in a large penalty. This is unfair to hospitals diligently working to comply with the requirements and expending significant resources to do so.

That’s why we are so pleased with the draft language... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: Meaningful Use

Ending Opioid Abuse

By Rick Pollack
May 13, 2016

Hospitals, and the women and men who work in them, witness the toll of opioid abuse on patients and the health of their communities every day. In 2014 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 28,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses and at least half involved a prescription drug. The Senate passed AHA-supported opioid abuse legislation in March, and, this week, the House of Representatives with an overwhelming bipartisan majority enacted a... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: opioids

Valeant Needs to Keep Its Promises

By Rick Pollack
May 12, 2016

A recent article in the New York Times highlights the yet-to-be-fulfilled promises made by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International to the U.S. Congress. Valeant had said it would give hospitals discounts of as much as 30 percent on two of its expensive heart drugs. But those discounts never materialized and may have been disingenuous. 

New stories illustrating how hospitals and health systems are impacted by rising drug prices and the effect this has on the patients they serve... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: drug prices
 

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