"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Meeting with the President

I read in the Wall Street Journal this a.m. that President Obama has invited twelve CEOs to meet with him at the White House to discuss a variety of critical issues facing our nation.  Even though my invitation must be delayed somewhere in the delivery process, I gave some thought to what I would discuss with the President given the opportunity.  First, pull out all stops to get the economy back on track.  Be a leader by working with Congress to an end that addresses our out-of-control debt.  Make the hard decisions that will return us to prosperity.  If you want to create jobs, then get to work on the Keystone pipeline and off-shore drilling.  Not only will both create jobs but they will diminish our dependence on foreign oil.  Be proud of our country and talk about our greatness to world leaders so they want to invest in America.  Recognize that you are held to a higher standard and bring the much promised transparency that you committed to during the first campaign for the Presidency.

Now, specific to health care: work to align incentives among providers (hospitals and physicians); you can't have one set of providers paid on volume and the other on value.  Address tort reform on a federal level.  You are putting providers in a precarious position by reducing admissions and re-admissions as well as reducing the amount of tests being ordered, yet leaving providers vulnerable to needless lawsuits and tort reform to the individual states to enact.  Lastly, recognize that cuts to providers will not reform health care; there needs to be a focus on prevention and wellness like never before along with an industry-wide focus on quality and cost.

Even if I am not in attendance tomorrow, I hope that such a meeting will get us back on track as a nation.

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