Norfolk, Va. — July 29, 2009 — Sentara Healthcare believes that healthcare in the United States is in need of fundamental reform. Current national health spending rates, the rising number of uninsured in our society, as well as workforce and capacity demands will not carry the healthcare industry successfully through the 21st century. Bold steps must be taken to ensure that all Americans have access to appropriate, effective and efficient high quality healthcare.
As an integrated healthcare system with hospitals, physicians, other providers and health plan divisions, Sentara is uniquely positioned to be part of the national discussion on reform. The foundation of Sentara’s position centers on our mission to improve health every day. Our position on national healthcare reform is as follows:
Sentara supports a national goal to achieve universal coverage.
All Americans should be required to obtain health care coverage with appropriate subsidy for the poor.
Health insurance should have a mandated guarantee issue, no pre-existing conditions, and a community rating.
Achieving universal coverage should be coupled with appropriate reimbursement methodology changes that focus on prevention, efficient and effective care, and payment for quality not quantity.
The system of employer-based coverage through private health plans should be preserved.
Private health plans should be required to make affordable coverage available to individuals who do not have access to coverage through an employer.
If a Public Plan is created, access should be limited to individuals and the unemployed.
Reimbursement to physicians, hospitals, and other providers should be based on negotiated rates and not on Medicare fee schedules.