WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Don't repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without specifying what will replace it. This is among the policy recommendations issued by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions (National Alliance), a nonprofit, membership association of employer led coalitions across the country serving 12,000 purchasers and 41 million Americans.
"Employers have been the backbone of the American healthcare system and as one of the largest purchasers of healthcare they have much to lose and are anxious to help shape a sustainable path forward," said Mike Thompson, National Alliance president and CEO. "We've developed these recommendations with our board, coalitions and their members."
Additional recommendations include:
- Preserve employer-sponsored coverage by refraining from capping the individual tax exclusion for premiums and continue to allow businesses to fully deduct the costs.
- Avoid increasing the number of uninsured individuals, as the cost of their inevitable medical care will get shifted to those who do pay the bills.
- Continue to move away from fee-for-service (or "volume-based reimbursement") toward alternative payment models that reward providers for good outcomes and high quality, not medical errors, unnecessary procedures and other low value care. Preserve the ability of the federal government to partner in these efforts (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation and other value-promoting elements of the ACA, and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015).
- Expand assistance to states, regions, and local communities promoting transparency by pushing hospitals and medical groups to report on the quality of care they provide.
- Support comparative effectiveness research. Employer-purchasers need to know which new or higher cost therapies result in outcomes that are significantly better, somewhat better, about the same, or worse than current or less costly options.
- Allow employer-purchasers maximum flexibility in experimenting with benefit designs.
- Flexibility around waiving co-pays and deductibles particularly under high deductible health plans (i.e. preventive services, chronic care support, on-site clinic services)
- Permit premium differentials and other incentives for non-smokers, healthy behaviors and outcomes, as well as wellness program participation
- High performance networks to encourage use of high-quality, lower cost providers
- Protect against "surprise" bills
A Purchaser Viewpoint on Health Policy in Transit is the result of a collaboration of the National Alliance's Government Affairs Affinity Group led by members including the Louisiana Business Group on Health, Midwest Business Group on Health, Minnesota Health Action Group, Pacific Business Group on Health, and Wyoming Business Coalition on Health.
About National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions
The National Alliance is a nonprofit network of business health coalitions, representing more than 12,000 purchasers and 41 million Americans. The National Alliance through its coalitions are dedicated to driving innovation, health and value through the collective action of public and private purchasers. The organization seeks to accelerate the nation's progress toward safe, efficient, high-quality healthcare and the improved health status of the American population. To learn more, visit nationalalliancehealth.org or connect with us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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SOURCE National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions