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HLC Offers Policy Agenda for Trump, Congress in 2017

By John Commins  
   January 16, 2017

The Healthcare Leadership Council outlines steps to stabilize the health insurance market, intensify the fight against chronic disease, and accelerate health data interoperability.

The Healthcare Leadership Council has provided a policy agenda for 2017 to the incoming 115th Congress and the Trump administration and urged them to embrace "the opportunity to continue and accelerate the profound transformation of our healthcare system to benefit all Americans."

HLC describes itself as a coalition of chief executives from hospitals, health plans, pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers, and other segments of the healthcare industry.

"All Americans deserve better healthcare," the letter says. "Fortunately, there is consensus around what "better" means: lower costs, higher quality, greater efficiency, and an improved experience for patients and their families," HLC said in an executive summary.

"A new presidential administration and Congress have the opportunity to make real progress toward achieving that vision, and there are several things we can do right now—quick fixes that build on the successes of the recent past and the robust spirit of innovation seen in every sector of healthcare. There's no need for 30 more years of debate! These actions are achievable and transformative."

The policy recommendations include:

  • Increasing investments in comprehensive, evidence-based wellness practices that will reduce healthcare costs and improve quality of life.
  • Achieving system-wide health information interoperability by Dec. 31, 2018.
  • Reforming the federal fraud and abuse legal framework to enable multi-sector collaborations that will strengthen value-based healthcare efforts.
  • Strengthening the healthcare workforce by expanding interstate licensure, allowing healthcare professionals to practice to the full extent of their training, and increasing federal funding for graduate medical education.
  • Taking action to expand the use of telehealth in all accountable care models, managed care, Medicare Advantage, and fee-for-service plans.
  • Harmonizing federal and state patient privacy laws and regulations to enable the interstate flow of healthcare data.

HLC also recommended a series of near-term actions to stabilize and improve the non-group health insurance market. These include greater flexibility for health plans to design affordable products, creation of platforms that will enable health insurance consumers to compare coverage plans the way they do other consumer goods, curtailing special enrollment periods that contribute to market instability, and granting states the flexibility to establish network adequacy standards.

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

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