When I began planning my letter for this issue of Harmony, I thought I would write about how we had just wrapped up the first legislative session of my tenure as IHA president. I was excited to discuss the success we achieved on our priority issues, including reforming the prior authorization process, improving the provider credentialing process, and requiring ISDH to accept national accreditation in lieu of the annual state licensure survey. Our members worked hard on these issues over the last few months, providing us with guidance, contacting lawmakers, and testifying before committees.
What I didn’t expect to write about was the fact that our legislators aren’t quite done yet
When the General Assembly convened back in January, everyone predicted it would be a relatively quiet session with few contentious issues. It was a non-budget year, after all, and Republicans control both chambers as well as the governor’s office. However, time ran out in the final days on a few key bills, and Gov. Holcomb soon announced that lawmakers would be returning to the Statehouse for a special session in May.
Indiana hasn’t seen a special session since 2009, and considering that each day is projected to cost taxpayers $30,000, there is significant political pressure to wrap it up quickly. At this point, it doesn’t appear that any major health care issues will be addressed, but as always, you can trust IHA’s legislative team to keep a close eye on the proceedings.
The 2018 regular legislative session was indeed a success for Indiana hospitals, but also for Hoosier patients. IHA worked with lawmakers, Gov. Holcomb’s administration, and other stakeholders to enact important measures to reduce infant mortality and opioid abuse. There were also threats that emerged, but through our collective strength we were able to defeat some ill-conceived proposals. Our membership is diverse, but unity among hospitals was critical to overcoming some of the challenges we faced.
One of IHA’s core activities is representing the interests of our members before policymakers and regulators, but that’s not all we do. We also work to connect members and provide them with opportunities to share ideas and best practices. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at the 2018 IHA Annual Membership Meeting, which is coming up early this year on Sept. 26 – 27 at The Westin Indianapolis. By building relationships and connecting across our great state, we can continue to improve the health of all Indiana residents.
Your active engagement and collaboration is why IHA is one of the strongest hospital associations in the nation. Thank you for your continued membership, and I hope to connect with each and every one of you soon.