SAN DIEGO —Hours before the Senate voted 51-49 against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, American Hospital Association President and CEO Rick Pollack reminded health care leaders that the moment is theirs to seize.
“The good news is that, together, we have the opportunity to shape the future in some of these areas in a constructive manner,” he told the 1,600 or so in attendance at the 25th annual AHA Leadership Summit. “At the end of the day, it will not be the people on Capitol Hill who solve health care’s greatest challenges. It will be the people in this room,” he added later.
Pollack reminded health leaders that reforms to the health care delivery system — population health, the move from fee for service to value, bundled payment, etc. — are not up for debate in the current Washington environment and enjoy bipartisan support. As he said he tells his 6-year-old grandson in the batting cage, hospital leaders must keep their “eye on the ball” and continue to pursue such innovations, even with so much uncertainty tied to coverage and payment.
“What happens in Washington and your state capitals is important,” he said. “But, just as important is what happens across America — at the local, community level — as hospital and health system leaders work to make care better than ever.