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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

Come to the Rural Health Care Leadership Conference

January 24, 2017

Rural hospitals are their community’s anchor. By providing 24/7 care, essential public services and access to primary care for the 57 million people that live in rural America, these hospitals are vitally important. But the challenges they face have never been bigger.

They include the move to value-based reimbursement, declining populations; aging infrastructure and difficulties in recruiting medical staff to serve in small towns.

How rural hospitals can meet those challenges as... read more

Topics: Access and Coverage, Community Health
Tags: rural, access, leadership

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 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

Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities

November 29, 2016

In a report released today, an AHA task force unveiled a set of nine strategies for maintaining access to health care services in vulnerable communities. Comprised of 29 hospital and health system leaders and state hospital association CEOs, the task force held meetings, heard from policymakers and conducted listening sessions to speak with hospital and community leaders during a 15-month period.

At a briefing held in Washington D.C. today, Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: quality care, population health, Community benefit, Community health, Redefining the H, access, care coordination, prevention

From Politics to Governance

By Rick Pollack
November 11, 2016

This week millions of Americans exercised their fundamental right to vote and elect our leaders. With the election now behind us, we must turn from politics to governance. Amid the changing political landscape, our priorities remain the same – advancing the transformation of health care, ensuring access to coverage, preserving adequate resources for health care, protecting patient access to care, enhancing the quality of care and patient safety, and making health care more... read more

Topics: Access and Coverage, Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: advocacy

Better Care at Every Stage of Life

By Rick Pollack
September 23, 2016

It was great to see Rich Umbdenstock, the AHA’s president emeritus, this week at the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care’s summit on the future of advanced illness care. Rich recently joined the board of C-TAC, a diverse alliance of patient, provider, private sector and faith-based groups dedicated to ensuring patients receive comprehensive, high-quality care that is consistent with their values and honors their dignity. Speaking at this week’s summit, I noted how hospitals,... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage

Promoting Coverage Stability

By Rick Pollack
August 26, 2016

Several health insurers, both large and small, have announced plans to dramatically scale back their offerings in the Health Insurance Marketplaces next year. This development is troubling because more than 11 million Americans rely on the Marketplaces for their health coverage, and access to care – facilitated by affordable health care coverage – is foundational to building healthy lives and healthy communities. We think there are steps that can be taken now to ensure the... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage

The Real Reason Behind Observation Status

By Rick Pollack
August 22, 2016

“New Medicare Law to Notify Patients of Loophole in Nursing Home Coverage, the article rightly highlights the role of Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) -- overzealous government audit contractors -- in the increase in observation status. Their constant second-guessing of physician judgement on short hospital stays is the true cause of the increase of observation stays, which some have depicted in an inaccurate way. 

Allowing RACs to deny the care provided years after the patient... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage



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