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NBCH Calls for Cost Containment and System Transformation in Health Care Reform Legislation
Date:8/6/2009

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ --Today the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH), a non-profit organization of nearly 60 employer-based health care coalitions, representing over 7,000 employers and approximately 25 million employees and their dependents across the United States, submitted letters to the White House and Congress emphasizing the importance of value based purchasing as a critical strategy for health reform. NBCH sent correspondence on behalf of its coalition network of public and private employers to President Barack Obama and House and Senate congressional leaders including specific recommendations to reinforce the importance of establishing a health care system built on value, with a clear return for every dollar spent. The letter to the President can be viewed on NBCH's web site here.

"We can all agree that the current path we are on is unsustainable," said Andrew Webber, president and CEO of NBCH. "The U.S. spends nearly twice as much per citizen on health care than any other industrialized country, and ranks in the lowest quartile on population health status. Unless we change health care to focus on delivering value -- with focus on quality, health outcomes, and cost of care -- America's ability to compete in a global economy is at risk."

NBCH notes in its letter that the path to health care delivery reform and cost containment is value based purchasing. Simply stated, purchasers of health care services (i.e. employers, governments and consumers) need to measure, publicly report, and, most importantly, reward -- through payment and selection -- high performance and value in health care services and delivery.

Recommendations

NBCH urges the White House and Congress to continue reform legislation efforts with a focus on the following value based purchasing pillars: 1) measuring the comparative effectiveness and performance of health services and providers; 2) making such information easily accessible and transparent to the public; 3) reforming the fee-for-service payment system; 4) empowering consumers to make better and more informed choices along the full spectrum of their health and health care journey; and 5) creating a failsafe mechanism and establishing an independent entity to insure that serious cost containment measures are taken in response to escalating health care costs.

Employers to share in fiscal responsibility

NBCH supports the laudable goal of universal coverage. As representatives of employers that provide health insurance to their employees and dependents, NBCH and its member coalitions are keenly aware that 47 million uninsured Americans create market distortions and shifting costs in the system that negatively impact the employer community. NBCH also recognizes that paying for the uninsured through emergency room and hospital visits is both poor quality and inefficient. NBCH believes that many employers are ready to share in the fiscal responsibility for extending coverage to all Americans but only if real cost containment through value based purchasing is a core element of reform legislation.

About the National Business Coalition on Health

NBCH is a national, non-profit, membership organization of nearly 60 employer-based health care coalitions, representing over 7,000 employers and approximately 25 million employees and their dependents across the United States. NBCH and its members are dedicated to value based purchasing of health care services through the collective action of public and private purchasers. For additional information visit: www.nbch.org.

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Andrew Webber

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SOURCE National Business Coalition on Health
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