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With Plans Taking Shape, Now is the Time to Make Your Voice Heard

By Rick Pollack
February 17, 2017

While Congress passed a budget resolution last month “unlocking” the reconciliation process to repeal and replace or repair the Affordable Care Act, the January 27 deadline for the committees of jurisdiction to develop substantive legislation has come and gone. That’s why the options outlined yesterday by House Republican leaders really represent the first step in their efforts to develop consensus within the party on next steps and what potential legislation could look like. The ... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Coverage, advocacy, access

Leading Rural Health Into the Next Frontier

By Rick Pollack
February 10, 2017

One of the best parts of my job is getting to travel the country and meet the women and men who are leading the way in redefining the “H” and transforming health care. Rodney Nelson, president and CEO of the Mackinac Straits Health System in St. Ignace, MI, is one of those leaders. He sought new, creative solutions to rescue a facility on the verge of shutdown, and in recognition of his achievements, we honored him this week with the 2016 Rural Hospital Leadership Award at our... read more

Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Community Health
Tags: Community health, rural, Critical Access Hospitals, Redefining the H, awards, leadership

Shaping the Future

By Rick Pollack
February 3, 2017

In the second week of the Trump Administration, and the second month of the 115th Congress, health care issues have taken center stage like never before: repeal and replace (or repair) of the Affordable Care Act, “restructuring” Medicaid, “modernizing” Medicare…not to mention the health policy and funding issues sure to arise when the time comes to extend the debt limit, fund the government, reform the tax system, and extend the CHIP program.

It’s been said that the best way to... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage

Hospital mergers can be a key to meet patients' needs and improve care

By Rick Pollack
January 27, 2017

Rapid change in the health care field has led hospital leaders to search for new ways to reduce costs, increase the quality of care, and preserve access to care, so they can continue to meet their patients’ needs. For some hospitals, mergers may be the right path to meet these goals. This week the AHA released a new study finding that hospital mergers result in significant cost savings and quality improvements. The study, prepared by economists at Charles River Associates, found... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: acquisitions, consolidation, mergers, clinical integration, care coordination, antitrust

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

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

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

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
 

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