FOUNTAIN VALLEY and LONG BEACH, Calif., May 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The 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 May 3-4 in Sacramento. MemorialCare Health System—with hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange counties—is the only health system creating this unique partnership with community physicians. The goal is to advocate for health coverage for California's 6.8 million uninsured, emphasize the need for fair and equitable reimbursement and continue discussions among those making the law and the physicians, nurses, other clinicians and support staff who provide medical care and health services to Southland communities.
"This collaboration of community physicians, health system and hospital executives and business leaders demonstrates that answers to the health care crisis statewide and nationally demand creating forums to discuss solutions," explains Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System and past chair, 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 system."
MemorialCare Health System believes collaboration is key to resolving today's health care crisis. "As a priority for decades, MemorialCare partners with our physicians," adds Peter Mackler, government relations director. "Together, we provide a well-rounded perspective on health care, from a provider and hospital view. This offers an opportunity for physicians and executives to travel to Sacramento 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 uninsured and underinsured. "As economic conditions cause larger numbers of Californians to lose employer health coverage, they increasingly rely on hospital emergency departments for their primary care. This results in patients delaying much needed health care until conditions worsen, creates backlogs in emergency departments and hospitals and adds significant dollars to the cost of health care," says Dr. Arbuckle. "These advocacy days allow us to meet with legislators to outline and discuss views and positions of legislation under consideration."
Nineteen community physicians, MemorialCare system and, hospital executives and business leaders will meet with Assembly and State Senate members from Southern California and with California Hospital Association, California Medical Association, California Department of Health Care Services and other statewide entities. Diana Dooley, Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency, will keynote a session. MemorialCare will also meet with Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway and Senate Health Committee Vice Chair Tony Strickland.
MemorialCare Health System, a not-for-profit integrated-delivery system, includes Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente; MemorialCare HealthExpress retail clinics; MemorialCare Medical Foundation; and numerous outpatient health centers throughout the Southland.
SOURCE MemorialCare Health System