Longtime head of the Federation of American Hospitals Mike Bromberg, known for his knowledge of healthcare policy and the workings of Congress, died Friday, according to the FAH.
He was the first Washington-based leader of the organization that represents private, for-profit hospitals and which is now celebrating its 50th year. He was CEO from 1969 to 1994 and continued to serve on the board until his death. He was also chairman of the consulting company Capitol Health Group.
“Mike was a trailblazer whose career spanned the most dynamic years of policy development and growth of the American healthcare system,” current FAH CEO Chip Kahn said in a statement. “He contributed mightily to the role of hospitals, as well as the financing and delivery of care for patients, and the shaping of FAH as a major actor in the nation's healthcare policy development and implementation. It is not an understatement to say that our organization wouldn't assume the role it does advocating for America's investor-owned hospitals and their patients without his leadership and vision.”
In an interview this year with Modern Healthcare, Bromberg recalled that in his first years at FAH he spent most of his time defending the very existence of for-profit hospitals. He traveled across the country to participate in debates, and while in Washington lobbied against legislation attempting to ban such hospitals.
Lobbying and legislation have changed significantly since he was on the Hill in the 1970s. Issues are more complex and lawmakers are harder to reach because “everyone is an island,” Bromberg said then.
Rick Pollack, CEO and president of the American Hospital Association, released a statement Monday praising Bromberg's work.
“Mike Bromberg was both a highly respected association leader, and a professional lobbyist in the very best sense of the word, who left his fingerprints on many initiatives that improved healthcare in America,” he said. “He combined a deep knowledge of policy issues with unmatched political savvy. He had unquestionable integrity and was a mentor to so many, including me. If there were a Hall of Fame for healthcare lobbyists, he'd be selected unanimously on the first ballot.”
Mark Covall, president and CEO of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, said in a statement that Bromberg was “a powerful advocate for behavioral health” and “one of the most influential and successful lobbyists” in Washington.
“We could not have had a more dedicated, articulate, or successful representative that we did in Mike,” he said. “His death is a loss to the behavioral health field, as well as to all who were privileged to know him personally.”
Bromberg and his wife, Marlys, founded the Health Coverage Foundation in 2007 to help low-income families in select cities afford private insurance. Bromberg was a graduate of Columbia College and New York University Law School, according to a biography on the Capitol Health Group website.