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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Health Care Reform Passed — Now What?

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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

With the passage of health care reform legislation, many people have asked, “What is this going to mean for my company, my family and me?”

It will be a while before we have a clear understanding of the impact of this very complex legislation. However, there are some things we do know.

The most significant part of the bill is the expansion of coverage to more than 30 million Americans who do not currently have health insurance. Though many of the key coverage provisions will not take effect for four years, this has the potential for significantly improving health in Texas communities.

The legislation also provides for increased funding for Medicaid and tax credits for small businesses that provide employee health insurance benefits. And it imposes some important insurance reforms, including prohibiting insurance companies from excluding coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

The passage of health care reform is an historic achievement. It is not a cure-all, and it will not happen overnight. Much has yet to be done. Many rules and regulations have yet to be written.

In the meantime, hospitals and health care systems will continue to be driven by our customers. We will continue to prove our performance and demonstrate our value, and quality will remain our driving force.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based family of hospitals — Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist, and Texas Health Arlington Memorial — I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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