I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
I appreciate the efforts of our president and other national leaders to maintain focus on the importance of health care reform for our country. The time is right; the momentum is building, and our nation is engaged. Health care reform must be a bipartisan effort; it cannot be the same patchwork approach we’ve seen in the past.
Our leaders in Washington, D.C., aren’t the only ones shouldering responsibility for reform. Truly effective health care reform must be collaborative — starting with people at the community level engaging one another in discussions and sharing ideas. Employers, hospitals, physicians, insurance companies, policy makers, consumer advocates — all of the stakeholders must come to the table willing to roll up their sleeves and find workable solutions.
We must look for areas of agreement and address the most pressing issues — provide coverage for the uninsured and underinsured through a combination of public and private programs; support programs that encourage hospitals to improve quality while safely reducing cost; and incentivize prevention and wellness rather than just providing sick care.
The path to reform remains difficult, and the hardest work is still ahead. It is clear that achieving true reform will take tremendous commitment and tenacity on the part of all involved. It is also clear that the cost of doing nothing when it comes to the health of our nation is much too high a price to pay.
For our faith-based family of hospitals — Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial — I’m Doug Hawthorne.