The American Hospital Associations national healthcare reform planexpected to be released this summerwill call for universal coverage for all Americans, according to a draft of the plan detailed by AHA President Richard Umbdenstock. He described the plan in a video teleconference broadcast today to attendees of the American College of Healthcare Executives annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership in New Orleans.
To help achieve universal coverage, the AHA plan would require employers to provide health benefits to employees and require individuals without any other source of coverage to purchase their own health insurance policies, according to the draft plan.
The AHAs plan, dubbed Unified Health Care Plan, has five components: Better Value; Care That is Coordinated; Focus on Wellness; Access to Information; and Health Coverage for AllSupported by All. Each component includes various options to meet the components objectives. For example, to promote better value, the AHAs plan calls for all quality and price information to be available to healthcare consumers.
Alyson Pitman Giles, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Medical Center, Manchester, N.H., and the ACHEs new chairman, said it was the first time she has seen the AHAs plan and deferred questions to Thomas Dolan, the ACHEs president and CEO. Dolan said hes previously reviewed the AHAs draft plan and said it was a good starting point for debate.
Jack Bovender Jr., chairman and CEO of HCA, Nashville, and one of two recipients of the ACHE Gold Medal Award this year, described the AHAs plan as a good framework, but he said it lacked the level of detail of the access plan unveiled in late February by the Federation of American Hospitals, which represents for-profit hospitals and hospital chains such as HCA. Bovender said the general provisions of the AHAs reform plan were not in conflict with the federations reform plan. -- by David Burda