Hospital Industry Leaders Visit Capitol Hill to Protect the Nation's Health

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Trinity Health announced today that 60 of its system leaders visited Capitol Hill this week to bring to Congress their collective concerns about the economic issues and business challenges threatening the nation’s evolving health system. The legislative visit to Washington, D.C., was an opportunity for lawmakers to talk with community hospital leaders from Trinity Health's ten states about progress toward achieving a stronger health care system and about the effect of sequestration and other recent Medicare program payment cuts on hospitals, communities and patients.

We were in Washington this week to ask for the financial and regulatory predictability, stability and support we need to efficiently deliver more and better care to more people.

Trinity Health announced today that 60 of its system leaders visited Capitol Hill this week to bring to Congress their collective concerns about the economic issues and business challenges threatening the nation’s evolving health system. The legislative visit to Washington, D.C., was an opportunity for lawmakers to talk with community hospital leaders from Trinity Health's ten states about progress toward achieving a stronger health care system and about the effect of sequestration and other recent Medicare program payment cuts on hospitals, communities and patients.

"Trinity Health remains committed to transforming the nation’s health care delivery system, and we’re making bold progress in the communities we serve," said Dan Hale, Executive Vice President for Trinity Health with responsibility for public policy and advocacy. "We hope the President, Congress and other providers will be our partners on this journey."

Trinity Health's Advocacy Action Day included the participation of Richard Umbdenstock, President and Chief Executive Office of the American Hospital Association, and Richard Gilfillan, MD, Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. In spite of inclement weather that resulted in some meeting cancellations and closed all Federal government offices for the day on Wednesday, participating Trinity Health leaders attended about 30 scheduled meetings with Senators, Representatives and key staff in their Capitol Hill offices. Hospital leaders discussed, among other things, Medicaid expansion, behavioral health services and Medicare payments.

“We were in Washington this week to ask for the financial and regulatory predictability, stability and support we need to efficiently deliver more and better care to more people," said Hale. "It is especially needed now that sequestration has gone into effect."

Sequestration will require hospitals to absorb an additional 2% cut in Medicare payments while already facing significant cuts required by the Affordable Care Act and subsequent legislation. The fact that more cuts are expected next year creates additional concern for health care providers.

"We were present to Congress at a critical time and we are grateful that so many of our leaders were able to travel for these important discussions," said Tonya Wells, Vice President, Federal Public Policy and Advocacy. "Today we provided suggestions for advancing America's health through policy; when we are back in our hospitals and offices, we will continue advancing it through our own commitment to health care transformation."

Trinity Health advocacy efforts take place year-round, with leaders and associates from every member hospital and hospital system in continuous dialogue with policymakers through meetings, visits, letter-writing campaigns and more. As Trinity Health representatives held their meetings during Advocacy Action Day 2013, many others, who were unable to attend, sent email messages sharing their concerns.

"Everyone can work together with government and health care professionals to improve our nation’s health," said Wells. "And, as a result of ongoing grassroots engagement, our associates are beginning to understand just how powerful their voices and opinions can be."

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Eve Pidgeon
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