Calif. Health Leaders Launch CEO Coalition for Health Reform
Lloyd H. Dean and Bruce Bodaken bring lessons learned from California reform debate to national group that embraces transformational change
December 11, 2008 - Washington, DC - Two leading proponents of comprehensive health reform in California - Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) President / CEO Lloyd Dean and Blue Shield of California Chairman and CEO Bruce Bodaken - are founding members of Health CEOs for Health Reform (HC4HR), a diverse national coalition of health industry leaders dedicated to achieving sustainable universal health coverage for all.
The new group of business leaders, which was assembled by the New America Foundation, also includes chief executives of the Billings Clinic, Denver Health, the Virginia Mason Medical Center, and Merck & Co. Inc.
"What sets this organization apart from other health policy coalitions is the commitment of CEOs to accept changes to their business models to help achieve comprehensive reform," said Len Nichols, Director of the Health Policy Program at the New America Foundation and HC4HR's facilitator. "HRC4R will help policymakers identify solutions that ensure everyone has quality, affordable health coverage within a system that delivers high value for every health care dollar."
"It's time for health industry CEOs to step up and say what has to be said-that achieving coverage for all will require each of us to change the way we do business," said Bodaken, who first proposed a universal coverage plan in 2002. "With regard to health plans, that means giving up the right to pick and choose our customers based on how healthy they are."
"This is a time of rare challenge and of equally rare opportunity. In order to seize it, we must all do our part," said Dean. "Hospitals and physicians must be accountable for the quality and affordability of the care they deliver," added Dean. "They should be paid based on quality outcomes, not on the number of services they provide."
CHW and Blue Shield of California played an active role in supporting the comprehensive California healthcare reform legislation that failed to pass earlier this year. Despite the bill's defeat, California stakeholders made significant progress on important policy details that can inform the upcoming federal deliberations on similar issues.
"As long-time advocates for healthcare reform and universal coverage, we are encouraged by the ideas and energy we see in Washington today," said Dean and Bodaken in a joint statement. "We look forward to adding our insights to those of other leaders to advance the growing momentum for comprehensive reform."