Tonight is the State of the Union Address. From a health care perspective, I would hope that President Obama would cover the following:
Steps that he is taking to better align incentives among providers, with everyone focusing on a value- based health care system. We need Federal action to break down the barriers that impact meaningful coordination of care between physicians and hospitals.
What he is doing to reduce the amount of regulations that hospitals must adhere to; right now, the number exceeds 122,000 and it's climbing.
That he will stop making cuts to Medicare on the backs of providers and allow us to change the delivery of health care, which is needed desperately, by focusing on improvements in quality, patient safety and affordability. Such changes can't be done overnight.
Gives hospitals credit for what we have accomplished to date in bringing down the cost of health care. Health care spending has been at historically low levels for the last three years.
Greater emphasis on funding for mental health. So far, the focus has been on gun control. Not enough is being said or done in the area of addressing mental health issues earlier and more comprehensively.
Lastly, tort reform needs to be addressed nationally as a way of ridding the courts of frivolous lawsuits and by eliminating the cost of defensive medicine.