At a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights hearing today examining the benefits health systems provide to communities, AHA Board Chair Rod Hochman, M.D., emphasized that the pandemic clearly demonstrated the benefits that integration provides to respond to emergencies, support access and create greater stability.

“Integration is key to strengthening health care in this country and ensuring every community — whether rural, urban or suburban — has access to affordable, evidenced-based care,” said Hochman, who is president and CEO of Providence, a not-for-profit health system serving the Western U.S.

While praising the efforts of the entire hospital field in meeting the challenges of the pandemic, he highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how integration enabled health systems to quickly marshal resources needed to fill the gaps for a ragged public health infrastructure. 

“Integrated health systems were well positioned to deploy their resources to procure equipment in short supply, utilize IT systems to triage equipment and staff, reconfigure space to focus on infected patients and separate them from others, participate in large-scale targeted research, and perhaps most importantly, redeploy the workforce needed to meet these rapidly changing needs in multiple locations,” he said. 

At the hearing, Hochman also highlighted that the price most consumers pay for care is best reflected by the rates set by the rapidly consolidating commercial insurance industry.

“When an insurance market is highly concentrated, insurers reduce provider payments and do not pass on savings to consumers,” he said. “That is why health systems have increasingly engaged in alternative arrangements to lower costs and increase quality and convenience for consumers.”

View AHA’s full testimony for the hearing here. 
 

Related News Articles

Headline
The AHA yesterday joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other national organizations in urging the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm a district court…
Headline
The AHA’s opposition to UnitedHealthcare’s now-delayed policy on emergency coverage was picked up by the media and was mentioned in numerous publications,…
Headline
The National Urban League, a strategic partner of AHA, June 15-16 is hosting its annual Legislative Policy Conference as a free virtual event. This year’s…
Headline
The departments of Health and Human Services and Defense will purchase 1.7 million treatment courses of an investigational antiviral drug for $1.2 billion if…
Headline
AHA yesterday urged UnitedHealthcare to reverse its decision to retroactively deny coverage effective July 1 for emergency department claims the insurer deems…
Headline
Commenting today on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposed rules for the inpatient rehabilitation, inpatient psychiatric and skilled…