More than 100 health industry stakeholder organizations have agreed to push the industry and policymakers to take six steps—many supported by information technology—which they say can immediately improve the nation’s healthcare system.

The organizations represent providers, insurers, patients and consumers, medical device makers, software vendors, public health, researchers, pharmaceutical firms and drug stores, long-term care providers, consultants and regulators.

HLC President Mary R. Grealy
HLC President Mary R. Grealy

The coalition, called the Healthcare Leadership Council, this week publicly outlined its course of action, calling for bipartisan support for the changes. Reforms “can gain traction even in an election year permeated with partisan politics,” said Mary R. Grealy, HLC’s president. The group is calling for quick action “to remove obstacles to innovation, improve healthcare system quality and value.”

The coalition is co-chaired by David Barrett, MD, the CEO of the Lahey Clinic, and Bill Hawkins, chairman and CEO of Medtronic.

The six steps being advocated are:

  • Achieving nationwide health information interoperability, led by private sector efforts, by the end of 2018.
  • Reforming outdated physician self-referral and anti-kickback statutes, and expanding Medicare payment waiver policies to improve care coordination while reducing fraud.
  • Standardizing the nation’s privacy laws and improving access to patient data for quality and research purposes.
  • Implementing best practices to improve care for the chronically ill, by insurers and providers.
  • Improving the efficacy of the Food and Drug Administration by reducing administrative burdens that it imposes, and bringing new treatments and technologies to the market quicker.
  • Improving the CMS Enhanced Medication Therapy Management Model program to deliver on the goal of improving patients’ health.

Also See: Demographic trends work against rural providers in using IT

Provider organizations in the initiative, all large and nationally known delivery systems, include Ascension, BaylorScott & White Health, Cleveland Clinic, Dartmouth University Geisel School of Medicine, Golden Living, Indiana University Health, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Mayo Clinic, MemorialCare Health System, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, NorthShore University Health System, Select Medical, Texas Health Resources, and University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

Insurers in the initiative include Aetna, Anthem, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, CMS, and Health Care Service Corp. A report from the organizations and full list of members is available here.

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