Contact: Amy Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.375.6476
Washington, D.C. – The American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) CEO, Jack Lewin, M.D. today made the following statement regarding this evening’s State of the Union address by President Obama:
“Although President Obama’s goal this evening is to deliver an ‘optimistic’ address to our nation, the need for bipartisan alignment around deficit reduction and health care reform are without a doubt major underlying themes. The President and his administration have to be able to work with both sides of the aisle in Congress not only to protect access to health care for all Americans and to promote necessary insurance reforms, but moreover to systematically improve the quality of health care. This is the way to reduce unnecessary spending, costly admissions to hospitals, and medical complications, and will result in healthier patients.
“The Obama administration and both parties share a concern for reducing the growth of the $14 trillion-plus deficit. In order to avoid additional administrative waste, it is essential for Congress to work towards a permanent fix to the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. We are also working with other professional organizations to introduce necessary tort reform legislation in Congress, which will further reduce the deficit, and allow physicians to practice based on what is best for their patients rather than defensive medicine.
“We are encouraged that the House this week introduced H.R. 5, the “Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011,” and we have hope that it will pass in the House, and that Congress can work with the Obama administration to repair our nation’s ailing medical liability system to reduce unnecessary costs and preserve patients’ access to medical care.
“As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will soon release the draft regulations related to Accountable Care Organizations and new payment reform models proposed in the Affordable Care Act and elsewhere, it is our hope that these necessary efforts will centrally involve physicians and patients in assuring new models to protect the patient-physician relationship and apply evidence-based approaches to improving outcomes using clinical data, not just payment or claims data.
“We are committed to working with Congress and the President to overcome partisan differences, to surmounting an unsustainable status quo, and to advancing the nation’s critical need for health system reform that improves health and quality of care, reduces unnecessary costs, and ultimately protects patients’ access to care.”
Interview requests for Dr. Jack Lewin can be made by contacting Amy Murphy or Shannon Cline.
About the American College of Cardiology
The American College of Cardiology is transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health through continuous quality improvement, patient-centered care, payment innovation and professionalism. The College is a 39,000-member nonprofit medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet its stringent qualifications. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research. The ACC provides professional education and operates national registries for the measurement and improvement of quality care. More information about the association is available online at www.cardiosource.org/ACC.