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CEOs: Now It's Time to Address Affordability

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, June 29, 2012

They all want their opinion to be heard. That's not surprising in itself, but imagine my surprise when I did talk with a few CEOs immediately leading up to and following the decision. It's not that big of a deal, they said, and it won't make a huge difference in their strategic planning.

As for the long period of uncertainty between the announcement that the Court would hear the case challenging the law, it's had little impact on long-term strategic planning, says Catholic Health Partners CEO Michael Connelly.

"Honestly it's had no impact. We think that what needs to happen is fairly clear regardless of the legislation," Connelly says. "We need higher quality care at a lower cost and to design systems with our patients to make that happen. Some reimbursement gymnastics come into play, but the law didn't enact payment reform and wasn't helpful in making financial decisions."

Given attention surrounding the decision on the Affordable Care Act, and yes, the hype associated with such an important decision, hospital and health system CEOs seem happy that the individual mandate was upheld, yet convinced that the most important work remains to be addressed: rising costs.

So if you thought the legislative work surrounding healthcare is over, you're in for a rude awakening.

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