When the only certainty in the debate over health care is uncertainty, how do we prepare for the future? That’s the key question being taken up by Western New York’s health care industry.
The University at Buffalo School of Management hosted four of the region’s health care industry experts at a panel on Tuesday titled, “After the Affordable Care Act: A nonpartisan conversation on the future of health care.” Central to much of their discussion was not only the impact that the future of health care will have on citizens, but the impact that citizens can have on the future of health care.
Independent Health President and CEO Michael W. Cropp, M.D. said Americans are in an age of accountability in which they need to show leadership and make wise decisions about where their health care dollars go.
“There is a lot of noise out there in the system,” said Cropp. “But if we stay focused on those things that are within our control, within our community – those things that we can make a difference on – and adjust to the noise that’s coming from Washington and Albany, we can get things done. If we sit back and wait for the noise to settle in Washington and Albany, shame on us.”
David P. Hughes, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Kaleida Health said, amid the chaos of health care reform, he and his colleagues strive for certainty and stability – all while providing quality for patients.
“What we can do as a healthcare system is ultimately focus on those things. Because we think that providing value to the community and to the patient is ultimately [what] will win the day when all’s said and done,” Hughes said.
Catholic Health Systems’ Chief Clinical Officer, Michael J. Edbauer, D.O., said the way to prepare for the future is by looking at what is being focused on. He believes the health care industry needs to ask how it can improve while lowering costs.
“I think everyone will acknowledge that within our overall delivery system, we still have opportunities for cost reduction,” said Edbauer. “The areas that people are most familiar with is trying to eliminate duplicate testing, unnecessary treatments. But I think it even goes beyond that in areas that I think we have to challenge ourselves as a community – well beyond healthcare – to take more active roles in.”
The panel also included Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at the UB Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Nancy H. Nielsen, M.D., PhD. It is the first in a series on business and society.