This week in Washington—NAPH announces its transformation to “America’s Essential Hospitals” and GAO releases a report on exchanges. You are tuning in to America’s Essential Hospitals’ health policy update for the week of June 24, 2013.
As you can probably tell from the introduction, our name changed. Last week, at our annual conference on June 20, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems became America’s Essential Hospitals. With the change, we as an association reaffirmed our support of hospitals and health systems that provide high-quality, innovative care to all, including the most vulnerable.
In a statement, our President and CEO Bruce Siegel shared the same sentiment saying, “We and our members are united by a common purpose: to serve all people and all communities with essential services and the best care possible. This is what defines us and the hospitals and health systems we represent.”
We have provided advocacy, research, education, and leadership development for our members since 1981. With the new name, America’s Essential Hospitals, we preserve the sense of public accountability central to our legacy and celebrate the mission of our members to ensure access to quality care for those in greatest need. Check out our new look online and on our social networks, and look for a fully redesigned website by the end of this year.
Also last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) work to establish federal health insurance exchanges for eligible individuals. According to GAO, CMS will operate a health insurance exchange in the 34 states that will not operate state-based exchanges in 2014. In 15 of these states, CMS and the state governments will share responsibility for operating the health insurance exchange.
GAO noted in its report that, while CMS has completed many of the activities necessary to establish exchanges in the 15 states by the Oct. 1 deadline, many activities are still incomplete and some are behind schedule. GAO notes that “the still-evolving scope of CMS’s required activities in each state and the many activities yet to be performed…suggest a potential for challenges going forward.” GAO found that the deadlines CMS has missed thus far may not affect implementation; however missed deadlines closer to the start of enrollment could do so. Stay tuned to this podcast and our weekly newsletter, Newsline, for more exchange-related news in the coming months.
Thanks for listening to another edition of This Week in Washington. I’m Erica Addison; join us next week for another update.