Community-based health systems hold the greatest promise to transform America from a sick care system to a healthcare system.
As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, America does big things. In order to do big things, we must avoid inaction, for its consequences will undermine the goals of healthcare reform and set us back. We must press forward. This is not an option – it is an imperative.
Ongoing conversations on reform need to focus on providing the right care, at the right place, at the right time, at the right cost. Community-based health systems are key to ensuring this happens, as they are able to offer incentives for more efficient and effective care. For healthcare to truly get better, we need equal ownership by providers, payers and other stakeholders across the continuum of healthcare to enact meaningful reform for the patients and local communities.
Tom Strauss is President and CEO of Summa Health System in Akron, OH.