Texas Health CEO Offers Perspective on State of the Union Address 02/13/2013
ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Resources CEO Doug Hawthorne offered the following comments following President Obama's State of the Union address on Feb. 12, 2013:
The strength of our economy continues to be top of mind, as it has been for the last four years. The healthcare industry has a significant impact on the economy of North Texas both in the number of jobs tied to healthcare and in the impact health issues can have on the productivity of the work force in general.
Texas Health Resources and other health systems in Dallas-Fort Worth are major economic drivers providing more than 237,000 jobs in the D-FW area and generating more than $12 billion in economic impact. Health providers have endured significant cuts in reimbursement yet we must continue to provide care for everyone in the community because that is our mission. In addition to the direct economic impact of jobs, healthcare affects all other industries.
Research indicates that employers in the DFW area lose as much as $17 billion each year in worker productivity lost due to employee health issues. Texas Health Resources is working with employers, physicians and insurance companies on innovative ways to improve overall well-being because people with higher well-being are more productive and their health benefits cost less.
Improving the health and well-being of the people in our communities can have a measurable positive impact on the vitality of our economy. One of the things we must do to improve health is transition from a fee-for-services model to a value-based accountable care model directed by physicians. We will make that transition, and we will bend the cost curve of healthcare away from its upward trend.