Healthcare Leadership Council

Quality, Competition, Innovation

The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), a coalition of chief executives from all disciplines within American healthcare, is the exclusive forum for the nation’s healthcare leaders to jointly develop policies, plans, and programs to achieve their vision of a 21st century system that makes affordable, high-quality care accessible to all Americans.

What's Happening in Healthcare

HLC:  Medicare Payment Reform Essential During Congressional Lame Duck Session

In a letter it has co-signed with more than 60 other healthcare companies and associations, the Healthcare Leadership Council has urged the U.S. Senate and House leadership of both parties to repeal the current Medicare physician payment formula and enact payment reform before the current congressional “lame duck” session concludes.

The co-signing organizations told Senate leaders Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House leaders John Boehner (R-OH), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that the repeated temporary patches – 16 since 2003 — to the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula “leave healthcare providers uncertain about payment rates they will receive year after year” and “continue to disadvantage physicians and health professionals who provide better care at lower costs.”

The letter points out that Congress has developed comprehensive bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would fix the Medicare payment formula and better reward health providers for patient care improvements.  The co-signers urged the House and Senate leadership to act expeditiously and “start the 114th Congress without another looming SGR deadline.”

HLC President: Data Infrastructure Change Will Have Profound Health Impact

untitledSpeaking to a national audience focused on health information technology, the president of the Healthcare Leadership Council said today there is strong momentum in support of a national interoperable health data network, and that policymakers need to ensure that clinicians, researchers and others involved in healthcare are able to share information that “can have the greatest impact on patients and on medicine’s future.

HLC President Mary R. Grealy spoke October 21 at the WEDI-Con conference in Reston, VA.  WEDI, the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange, is a public-private coalition focused on improving health data exchange to improve healthcare quality and reduce costs. More Details »

Telehealth’s Role in Healthcare’s Future Explored in HLC Hill Briefing
HLC Capitol Hill Briefing on Telehealth

Pictured left to right: Forest Blanton, Memorial Healthcare System; Elaine Manieri, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee; Joe Vengco, Baystate Health; Mary R. Grealy, President, HLC; Dr. Richard Fessler, St. John Providence Health System.

On October 7 the Healthcare Leadership Council hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill in which leading private sector innovators discussed the latest developments in telehealth initiatives and challenges.  Each panelist provided a unique perspective on the benefits of telehealth, the next steps in achieving progress and the possible challenges to overcome in getting there.

The first panelist was Dr. Richard Fessler, the Chairman of the Department of Surgery at St. John Providence Health System, a member of HLC member Ascension Health.  Dr. Fessler spoke about stroke telemedicine and the mutually beneficial relationship it creates for patients and physicians.  More Details »

Policymakers Must Monitor Open Payment Website’s Impact on Healthcare Innovation, Patient Interests, HLC President Says


Data on Physician Payments without Proper Context Could Unfairly Stigmatize Essential Healthcare Collaborations, Medical Research Efforts

WASHINGTON – Members of Congress and Administration health policy leaders must closely monitor the operation and impact of the new federal website providing data on payments between healthcare manufacturers, physicians and teaching hospitals, the president of the Healthcare Leadership Council said today, to ensure that an incomplete display of information does not stigmatize physician-industry collaborations and undermine future healthcare innovation.

Mary R. Grealy said she shared the concerns expressed by other healthcare trade associations that the Open Payments website, scheduled to launch on September 30, will provide raw data on manufacturer payments to doctors and hospitals More Details »

Industry Experts Describe Progress on Health Information Interoperability at Capitol Hill Briefing

Left to right: Joseph Ganley, McKesson; Tina Grande, HLC; David Yakimischak, Surescripts; Melissa Owens, Marshfield Clinic; Dan Haley, athenahealth

The Healthcare Leadership Council hosted a briefing September 22 on Capitol Hill, discussing how to issue surrounding interoperability in health information exchange.  Experts from four companies, all members of the HLC, shared their insights on what has been successful so far, and where the industry should continue to focus in order to make greater steps towards interoperability.

Melissa Owens, Vice President of Implementation Services and Support at Marshfield Clinic, spoke about the clinic’s commitment to interoperability as early as the 1980’s.  She named three factors that have driven the growth of the regional Health Information Exchange (HIE), which are:  Full operational backing for integrations that improves patient care, recognizing that the hurdles are not purely technical, and continued commitment to the technology platform.  More Details »

Harvard Researchers Confirm Cost, Quality Benefits of Medicare Advantage

What seniors have known for a decade, academics are confirming.  The common sense is that Medicare Advantage delivers high quality and value in healthcare.

  • Since its strengthening in the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act, the Medicare Advantage program has consistently won high marks from seniors.
  • Now, Harvard economists confirm that the MA program outperforms conventional Medicare.
  • Their research is reported in a recent Milbank Quarterly.  The article is titled “How Successful Is Medicare Advantage?”
  • Healthcare leaders have long pointed to Medicare Advantage’s not-so-secret sauce:  consumer choice and competition at the core of its model.

More Details »