NASHVILLE – Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), spoke to Nashville Health Care Council members today about the health insurance industry’s perspective on health care reform and how the industry is preparing for its implementation.
Ignagni highlighted the innovative programs health plans have implemented to improve the quality and safety of patient care and how these initiatives can serve as models for larger delivery system reforms. She also discussed what health plans are doing to implement the new reforms in the least disruptive way possible while underscoring the need for further efforts to address the skyrocketing cost of medical care.
“Health care costs are crushing our economy and placing too heavy of a burden on hard working families.” said Ignagni. “We cannot wait any longer to address this issue. We have to get the growth of health care costs under control if we are going to have a sustainable health care system and a strong economy.”
More than 200 health care industry executives attended the briefing at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. Today’s program was the second in a year-long Health Care Reform Series, sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, which offers insights on key provisions of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including policy development, implementation and potential outcomes. Vicky Gregg, current AHIP chairperson and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, introduced Ignagni.
“Karen and all the attendees at today’s event understand that the future of the health care system in this country rests not on the shoulders of just one group but of all stakeholders,” Gregg said. “It’s all about collaboration and finding innovative solutions to balance the need for expanding access to quality care while maintaining affordability.”
Ignagni stressed that a workable and sustainable solution for health care reform will be a uniquely American blend of public and private influence to preserve benefits for employers and consumers and foster innovation.
“Nashville is home to a large and diverse health care community with operations on a national scale,” said Council President Caroline Young. “Health care reform impacts all of these companies, often in different ways. Today’s and future programs in this policy series will ensure that the Council continues to provide timely and valuable information to our members who are leading health care trends across the country.”
Details for future series programs will be announced later this year.
About the Nashville Health Care Council
The Nashville Health Care Council, founded in 1995 as an initiative of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, is an association of health care industry leaders working together to further establish Nashville’s position as the nation’s health care industry capital. The health care industry is Nashville’s largest and fastest growing employer, contributing approximately 210,000 jobs and $30 billion to the local economy. For more information on the Council, please visit www.healthcarecouncil.com.