There are two themes playing out in both politics and health care: disruption and uncertainty, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said today during a panel on the current and future impact of federal policies on health care. “We don’t know where this is all going to end up,” he said commenting on the upcoming mid-term elections. Similarly, the hospital and health system field is focused on redefining what the hospital of the future will be, and that can take many forms. “The ‘H’ in the future is going to look different,” Pollack said. “That ‘H’ and all it stands for in terms of being a place of security, hope and healing – the trauma care, cutting-edge surgery, sophisticated diagnostics and therapeutics, the research and education – is not going to go away… but we know there’s a lot of care that is moving outside of our traditional building and we need to respond to that movement” to make care more convenient and accessible for patients across the care continuum. Marilyn Tavenner, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, expressed disappointment on the lack of progress on efforts to stabilize the individual marketplace at the federal level. “I think we’ll see a lot more work done at the state level, whether we’re talking about pharma, Medicaid or the individual market, including work around the individual mandate” this year, she said. Other issues explored included the move from volume to value, price transparency, and the opioid crisis. “There is so much experimentation going on and we haven’t settled on a [value-based care] model that we can rally around and that will work,” said Joseph Fifer, president and CEO of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, noting the breadth of models being tested. Halee Fischer-Wright, M.D., president and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association, concurred, “Value-based care is a reality; we will be moving forward but I have yet to see a successful reproduction of a model that can be deployed across the country.” Pamela Cipriano, president of the American Nurses Association, said collaboration will be needed to solve the opioid crisis, noting the need to balance keeping patients safe from potential opioid misuse and alleviating their pain. The panel was part of the University of Miami School of Business Administration’s conference on “The Business of Health Care: What’s Next?."

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