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AHA, others discuss how hospitals are preparing for the newly insured

November 8, 2013

Continued collaboration and performance improvement will be critical as hospitals absorb millions of newly insured patients under the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA), AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock and other hospital leaders said at a Nov. 6 panel discussion on the future of hospital care.

Collaboration with community stakeholders will grow as hospitals redesign care to make better use of personnel and resources and engage patients in their health and health care, Umbdenstock told participants at the U.S. News & World Report “Hospital of Tomorrow” conference.

“The reality is many hospitals, because of the impact of uncompensated care, have been making the changes necessary” to respond to a changing health care environment and will continue to do so to accommodate the ACA’s expanded coverage, Umbdenstock said.

Wright Lassiter, CEO of Alameda Health System in Oakland, CA, and Nancy Schlichting, CEO of Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System, described how they are working with caregivers near them to get better care and coverage to indigent populations. “We’re trying to stay ahead of the curve,” Lassiter said. Added Schlichting, “We have to be creative along the whole continuum of organizations because of the very fundamental needs” of the low-income residents who will be receiving health care coverage.