For almost 100 years, the Indiana Hospital Association has represented the collective interests of our members before policymakers, legislators and regulators. We’ve seen a lot of change over the years, and Indiana hospitals have stayed strong through it all. This year will be no exception.
At the state level, the 120th Indiana General Assembly is now in session, and IHA and the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana are hard at work. Our advocacy team is in constant contact with members of the House and Senate to promote the interests of our member hospitals and educate them on the Alliance’s plans to reduce tobacco use, opioid abuse, infant mortality and obesity in the state. Please continue to contact your legislators about the policy issues affecting your hospital. They need your stories and input to make the best decisions for our patients.
At the federal level, it is clear Indiana will play a significant role in shaping the health care landscape over the next few years. Our strong relationships with Vice President Mike Pence and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator nominee Seema Verma will help us have a powerful voice in the debate. In addition, Hoosiers are well represented on key Senate and House committees. A “repeal and replace” scenario still seems a likely fate for the Affordable Care Act, and we have prepared a letter outlining Indiana hospitals’ priorities under these circumstances. Our chief concerns remain maintaining coverage, opposing further payment cuts and allowing delivery system reform to continue.
On a related note, I am pleased to officially welcome Bob Brody as the 2017 chairman of the IHA Board of Directors. Bob has been a true champion for Indiana hospitals for the last 20 years. He is a past chairman of our Council on Government Relations and currently serves on the board of the Friends of Indiana Hospitals Political Action Committee. Bob understands the importance of developing strong relationships with lawmakers, and his experience and expertise in this area will be invaluable as we navigate these uncertain times.
My time at IHA may be winding down, but our work certainly is not. I’m looking forward to guiding IHA as we undertake a number of new activities in the coming months. You can read about some of these activities in this issue, including new initiatives from the Indiana Patient Safety Center and the work of IHA’s Population Health Task Force. Finally, I’m proud to announce the relaunch of mycareINsight.org with updated inpatient, outpatient and quality data. By continuing to improve this website, we aim to demonstrate the commitment of our hospitals to educating consumers and assisting patients.
I am sincerely happy with the current state of affairs here at IHA, but I am cautious about the future state of health care in our country. 2017 will be an interesting and dynamic year. As always, if you have any thoughts or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact me.