Hospitals, Health Care, and You
Sacramento Business Journal, September, 2010

AssociationCalifornia’s community hospitals are on the front lines, providing life-saving care 24 hours a day to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. In 2009, hospitals in California provided more than $12 billion in unpaid care. The passage of national health care reform legislation presents new opportunities – and new challenges – to hospitals and other health care providers and the patients we serve.

“Hospitals, physicians, health plans and policymakers must work together to pursue innovative and cost-effective solutions.” – C. Duane Dauner, President/CEO, California Hospital Association

Health care reform, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), means that millions of uninsured Californians will have access to health care coverage, beginning in 2014. The law also puts into place important insurance marketplace reforms including preventing health plans from denying a person coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition, eliminating lifetime limits on coverage, and prohibiting health plans from canceling health insurance coverage when a person becomes sick.

This landmark legislation also will cut down on the administrative red tape that is choking today’s health care system. And, the law provides a strong foundation on which to build lasting reforms that will improve the delivery of care to all patients. Through such initiatives as accountable care organizations, medical homes and bundling of payments, hospitals, doctors and other providers will have new opportunities to better align the services they provide patients, thereby improving quality and reducing the cost of care for everyone.