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Healthcare Reform: Why We Can't Turn Back

Tom Strauss, Summa Health System CEO, for HealthLeaders Media, March 4, 2011

The ongoing political debate surrounding healthcare reform is fierce and unrelenting. Debate is natural and often healthy. But as Congress, the White House, and governors battle over the implementation of last year's historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it's vital we not lose sight of an unmistakable truth: fundamental reform is not merely an option. It's essential. We cannot afford to stand still or go back.

Over time, despite seemingly well-intentioned efforts, America has built an elaborate and expensive sick care system. Today's sick care system is financially unsustainable. We must face realities of the current system and the opportunities of reform and move forward. We must transition to an actual healthcare system where care is built on a foundation of accountability, high quality, prevention and evidenced-based medicine derived from patient-centered outcomes research.

Fortunately, all across this nation, health systems and their community partners are leading the way to transform healthcare on a local level.

The accountable care model–where physicians, hospitals, and other community partners join forces to improve quality and reduce costs–is a prime example of how healthcare can be improved at the community level. Summa Health System has embraced this national move toward accountable care as a natural evolution of its Integrated Healthcare Delivery System. Widely supported by experts and policymakers, the accountable care model presents a great opportunity for provider and payer incentives to be aligned to benefit patients, providers and taxpayers.

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4 comments on "Healthcare Reform: Why We Can't Turn Back"


j biemuller (3/8/2011 at 7:30 PM)
acos will never function. i have been in the medical field for twelve years with capitation and fee for service modules. 75% of providers will not accept a PQRI or a "salary" position. who will work evenings, weekends, nursing home etc? providers are suspect to any governement intrusions. 66,000 few pcps by 2015, try double this amount if insurance companies and government intefere

Scott (3/8/2011 at 2:12 PM)
HC does need reform, just not at the expense of the government claiming control of every aspect (they are historically re-known for their inefficiencies) of the industry and equally as bad bankrupting the country in the process. Find a way to reform Healthcare without using tax payer money and mandating laws that require taxpayers to pay for others. Make it more affordable by using technology is an example but only 1 of many options. It scares the bejesus out of me to think of a government run anything much less Healthcare.

Anne C (3/7/2011 at 3:20 PM)
A lot of people may not be amenable to the health care reform but the fact of the matter is that our health care system has issues that need to be addressed or improved. The current bill may not be perfect but it's a step forward. Something major can't be expected to be perfect overnight. But changes are made to improve it to benefit the majority of Americans. Anne C NY Health Insurer