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Dr. Louis Sullivan's 'Symphony of Health Care Delivery' Stresses Importance of Communication, Quality Research in Health Care
Date:10/2/2007

Former HHS Secretary Joins Dallas Business Leaders to Highlight Need for

Increased Communication in America's Health System

DALLAS, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will meet today with community leaders from the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health (DFWBGH) to address health care reform and introduce his "Symphony of Health Care Delivery," which highlights options to improve the effective delivery of health care in the United States.

Dr. Sullivan believes that the best, most appropriate way for patients to receive care is through a "Symphony of Health Care Delivery," with the doctor acting as the conductor. Each aspect of the "symphony" must be transparent, with patients and health care providers having access to full information. Deviating from this approach, Dr. Sullivan believes, leads to discordant, "off key" health care results for patients.

"In any relationship, open communication is integral to success. In medicine, the relationship between a physician and their patient is crucial to determining what is best for each individual patient and overall quality of care," said Dr. Sullivan. "Individual patients have different needs and care should be driven by those needs, not by costs."

In today's health care marketplace, many vital treatment decisions are being made based upon, private studies with no public understanding of how the research was conducted or evaluated. Dr. Sullivan will focus on the need to increase the openness and awareness of research on cost and quality-driven health outcomes. In the "Symphony of Health Care Delivery," doctors, patients, and other interested parties should be directly involved in the generation of research and the evaluations of findings. In addition, Dr. Sullivan believes health information should be communicated in ways that are understandable to all stakeholders and presented in a fair and professionally balanced manner.

"As health care becomes a rising concern among employers, we are continually seeking options to help improve the quality of care our employees receive in the state of Texas," said Marianne Fazen, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health. "With Dr. Sullivan here today, business leaders in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have the opportunity to learn more about these pressing issues and contribute to the national dialogue on improving our health care system."

As part of the DFWBGH event, Dr. Sullivan will also note the importance of employer groups adopting value-based health benefits. Value-based benefits focus on longer-term measures maximizing patient health while also achieving cost savings. Dr. Sullivan will present several examples of innovative companies that have adopted value-based benefits design strategies, such as Pitney Bowes, International Truck & Engine Company and Dow Chemical Company, as well as several Dallas-Fort Worth innovators.

As part of a nationwide tour sponsored by Pfizer Inc, Dr. Sullivan is meeting with groups across the nation to facilitate a national dialogue on the need for a patient-focused, value-based approach to health care delivery.

About Dr. Louis W. Sullivan

Louis Sullivan, M.D., is President Emeritus of Morehouse School of Medicine and former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As one of the nation's leading public health policy experts and a medical practitioner for nearly 50 years, Dr. Sullivan commands wide respect on a broad array of health care issues. For more information on the campaign, please visit http://www.drlouissullivan.com.

About the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health

The Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health is a 130-member coalition of Dallas and Fort Worth area employers committed to market-based health care reform. Activities include: education programs on topics of key interest to employers; quality improvement initiatives providing comparative measures of quality, outcomes and care processes; relationship building initiatives; and legislative updates and analyses. Members include American Airlines, Bell Helicopter-Textron, Brinker International, EDS, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, JC Penney, Neiman Marcus, Sabre Holdings, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments, TXU, Verizon and others. A member of the National Business Coalition on Health, DFWBGH's goals are to empower employers to make informed health care purchasing decisions and to encourage health care providers to continuously improve their performance. For more information, please visit http://www.dfwbgh.org.


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SOURCE Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health
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