The ninth annual MemorialCare physician advocacy days to educate state lawmakers on how their current and future decisions impact the health and wellness of California communities is set for April 22-23 in Sacramento. MemorialCare Health System, a leading Southern California not-for-profit integrated delivery system—with hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange counties—is the only health system that has created this unique partnership with its community physicians. The goal is to advocate for responsible, fiscally-sound health care legislation, with an emphasis on the need for fair and equitable reimbursement for providers. The advocacy days provide opportunities for discussions among those making the law and the physicians, nurses and other clinicians and support staff who provide the critical medical care and health services 24/7 to Southland communities.
“This collaboration of community physicians, health system and hospital executives, and business leaders demonstrates that appropriate responses to the new and increasingly complex health care environment must come from open and honest dialogue,” explains Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System and past chair of the California Hospital Association. “The conversations offer a collective voice to the legislators of our overall concerns, both as individual community-based physicians and as part of a larger health system.”
MemorialCare Health System believes collaboration is key to achieving the triple aim of better care for individuals, better health of the population and lower per capita cost. “As a priority for decades, MemorialCare partners with our physicians,” adds Peter Mackler, government relations executive director. “Together, we provide a well-rounded perspective on health care, from a provider and hospital view. This offers a unique opportunity for physicians to travel to Sacramento with our executives to advocate for a balanced health care delivery system.”
MemorialCare Health System and its physician partners depend heavily on government funding to care for Medi-Cal patients, the remaining uninsured and underinsured. “As reimbursements continue to decline, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain services that our communities deserve and have become accustomed to receiving,” says Dr. Arbuckle. “These advocacy days also allow us to meet with legislators to outline and discuss the views and positions of proposed legislation under consideration for the 2014 session.
Seventeen community physicians, MemorialCare Health System executives and business leaders will meet with Assembly and State Senate members from Orange County and Los Angeles County and with California Hospital Association, California Association of Physician Groups, and California Department of Health Care Services. Patrick Johnston, president and CEO of the California Association of Health Plans will keynote a group session.