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Thanks for the Gift of Health

By Rich Umbdenstock
December 19, 2014

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work in and with many hospitals, helping the dedicated women and men who save lives, bring new lives into the world, cure and comfort and so much more – every hour of every day, including holidays. I have worked with volunteers and administrators on the floor and in the boardroom, gaining an indelible appreciation for the generosity of time, talent and spirit that guides and assists hospitals in their mission. You bring the amazing... read more

Topic: Community Health

Congress Recognizes and Funds Hospitals in the Fight Against Ebola

By Erik Rasmussen
December 17, 2014

Since the end of year spending package to fund the federal government was recently signed into law, hospitals should take a minute to look at what was included in this bill. This fall the country experienced the threat of Ebola and the nation’s hospitals answered the call to care for victims of this infectious disease. It’s a true testament to the impressive and selfless work of our nurses, physicians and other caretakers that Congress saw fit to include new federal funds for the... read more

Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Community Health
Tag: Ebola

Great News in Supporting Patients

By Rich Umbdenstock
December 12, 2014

We are celebrating more milestones on the long and critical road to protecting patients and controlling health care costs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of the Actuary confirmed that the growth in health care spending continued to slow, to a 53-year low, in 2013.  Also down is preventable harm to hospital patients; hospital-acquired conditions declined 17 percent between 2010 and 2013. That translates into an estimated savings of some 50,000 lives and $12... read more

Topic: Quality and Patient Safety
Tags: quality improvement, quality care, quality, patient safety, HENs, Hospital Engagement Networks

Hospitals keeping people healthy

By Elizabeth Lietz
December 9, 2014

In case you missed it, AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock wrote an op-ed that ran in USA Today about the changing nature of health care and how hospitals are helping keep patients healthy and out of hospitals before they need costly emergency care.  It’s why the AHA started the My Hospital: Advancing Health in America campaign – to show how hospitals are partnering with local organizations  and creating programs to build stronger, healthier communities.  Check out the op-ed and... read more

Topic: Community Health
Tags: Community benefit, Community health

Setting the Record Straight on 340B

By Linda Fishman
December 8, 2014

A new report by the Berkley Research Group (BRG) is the latest attempt by the pharmaceutical industry to disparage a program with a proven track record of helping poor patients and vulnerable communities.

For more than 20 years, the 340B Drug Pricing Program has provided financial relief from high prescription drug costs allowing eligible hospitals to stretch limited federal resources to reduce drug costs and expand health services to patients.

Financed by a group claiming to... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tag: 340B

The Flu and You

By Rich Umbdenstock
December 5, 2014

Do you work in a hospital?  December 7-13 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a great time to roll up that sleeve if you haven’t already. To protect the lives and welfare of patients and hospital employees, the AHA Board of Trustees supports mandatory patient safety policies that require either flu vaccination or wearing a mask in the presence of patients across health care settings during flu season. It’s one more way hospital employees can show the commitment to patient... read more

Tags: quality care, quality, child health, Community health

Health care spending at lowest levels since 1960

By Caroline Steinberg
December 5, 2014

In 2013 U.S. health care spending growth hit 3.7 percent, its lowest level since the government began tracking it in 1960, according to a new report. A key driver of this trend is the low growth in hospital prices which increased by only 2.2 percent in 2013. This is strikingly at odds with allegations from the insurance industry that hospital consolidation is driving up prices and premiums. Yes, hospitals are partnering with other health care providers and experimenting with new... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: consolidation, mergers

Thanks to You

By Rich Umbdenstock
November 26, 2014

In these challenging times, let’s not forget that hospitals have much to be thankful for this year. Many more patients have health care coverage, bringing us a step closer to our vision of a society where all people reach their highest potential for health. We have made real progress in improving the quality and safety of the care we provide. And we have shown our communities the depth of our commitment to their health and safety by practicing, and then practicing again, our... read more

Topic: Quality and Patient Safety

Share a Meal, Not the Flu

By John R. Combes, MD
November 24, 2014

Millions of Americans this week are preparing to give thanks and celebrate the holidays with their friends and loved ones. America’s hospitals and health systems also are preparing but for a different a reason, flu season is upon us. The convergence of these two events is an evolving challenge for health care professionals, especially following the recent Ebola crisis.  During this flu season, it is vital to avoid preventable cases of patients presenting at our Emergency... read more

Topic: Quality and Patient Safety
Tags: quality improvement, quality care, quality, child health, maternal health, infant health, Community health

Cybersecurity and You

By Rich Umbdenstock
November 21, 2014

Think cybersecurity is somebody else’s problem? Think again. We are just beginning to realize the promise of networked information technologies to improve patient quality and safety and bring efficiencies to our business systems. But with those opportunities come vulnerabilities to theft and threats to the security of personal data for patients and employees, billing records, even the function of medical devices. If you are a hospital trustee or executive, it’s imperative that you... read more

Tag: Cybersecurity
 

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