American Hospital Association President and CEO Richard Umbdenstock warned executives in Washington that parts of a broad effort to reshape the healthcare system will scare the pants off of us, but that ultimately hospitals would play a strong role in shaping the reform effort.
A balanced final reform package will be a mixed bag of gain and pain for everyone, Umbdenstock said at the opening of the AHAs annual membership meeting, adding that the legislation would also provide much to cheer. But, he said, Some of it we may dislike for the magnitude of change it will demand, for the trade-offs on payment that may occur, and for the increased pressure for high standards of performance that are likely to be set.
Federal lawmakers and White House officials have said that they want to have legislation readied by August and have considered a fast-track process to do so. But little is still known about what language a bill would contain despite months of backroom jockeying between congressional staffers, Obama administration officials and industry stakeholders.
The prospects for significant healthcare reform have never been more promising, nor more daunting Umbdenstock said. No one is campaigning for the status quo.