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Obama, Top Health Care Organizations Talk Reform

May 14, 2009

Posted by Kristin Oberlander - A group of leading health care organizations representing hospitals, private insurers, the medical-device industry, health care union workers and the pharmaceutical industry met with President Obama on Monday to discuss a plan to cut the growth rate of health care costs by 1.5 percent per year over 10 years. The goal has been a vision of Obama’s since the campaign trail and is expected to save American families about $2,500 annually.

The groups in attendance were the Advanced Medical Technology Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and the Service Employees International Union.

In a joint letter to the president, the groups pledged to continue collaborative efforts between the public and private health sectors in order to cut costs. Though more detailed proposals are expected in coming weeks, the groups outlined their plans to reduce expenditures by:

  • Implementing proposals in all sectors of the health care system, focusing on administrative simplification, standardization, and transparency that supports effective markets;  
  • Reducing over-use and under-use of health care by aligning quality and efficiency incentives among providers across the continuum of care so that physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers are encouraged and enabled to work together towards the highest standards of quality and efficiency;
  • Encouraging coordinated care, both in the public and private sectors, and adherence to evidence-based best practices and therapies that reduce hospitalization, manage chronic disease more efficiently and effectively, and implement proven clinical prevention strategies; and,
  • Reducing the cost of doing business by addressing cost drivers in each sector and through common sense improvements in care delivery models, health information technology, workforce deployment and development, and regulatory reforms.

“The groups who are here today represent different constituencies with different sets of interests. They've not always seen eye to eye with each other or with our government on what needs to be done to reform health care in this country,” President Obama acknowledged. “In fact, some of these groups were among the strongest critics of past plans for comprehensive reform.”

Read the health groups’ letter to President Obama.

Check out the White House fact sheet on health reform efforts