CONTROLLING HEALTHCARE COSTS
Over the first few years of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Bay Area Council acted as a significant state and national voice calling for sustained attention on controlling business healthcare costs as a part of health reform. We achieved policy victories that will lead to more cost-effective use of medical personnel and expanded use of wellness incentives. Although implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been successful in the state of California, in part due to our efforts, its political and implementation challenges throughout the nation mean that significant policy reforms may be necessary and that could affect the California market. This Council has the opportunity to reenergize its healthcare committee to focus continue healthcare industry and policy reforms on better value for medical consumer spending, better health for the residents of the Bay Area, and lower costs for business.
- Lead healthcare reform: It is clear that a renewed focus must be placed on controlling rising healthcare costs for businesses and consumers. The Council has the opportunity to help direct the state and national dialogues on health reform towards real solutions that focus on reforming payment and the delivery system in order to promote value for medical spending.
- Develop a comprehensive health initiative for the Bay Area: Our healthcare sector members have been pioneers in focusing the attention of communities on the factors that drive health beyond access to healthcare. Pending grant funding, the Council can knit together these different areas – poverty alleviation, education and workforce development – to create an implementation plan for such an effort in the Bay Area region.
- Support value-based approaches to developing precision medicine : Precision medicine holds a great deal of promise from treating chronic diseases to curing rare forms of cancer. Building on the major convening that the Council hosted on this topic in 2016 as well as the support we provided to pass the bill that provided continued funding for the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine, emerge as a leading objective and influential voice in this area which is critical for both the Bay Area economy and its healthcare consumers and patients.
Janet Liang, President of Northern California Region, Kaiser Permanente