AHA president has 4 asks for the government

Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, wants four things from the federal government to help the 6 million people working in hospitals, according to a column he wrote for The Hill

1. Ensure access to care and funds for federal programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and the 340B drug pricing program. He also asked the government to "hold commercial insurance companies accountable for their harmful practices that deny or delay patient care."

2. Strengthen the industry's workforce by executing "federal protections for healthcare workers against violence and intimidation" — which is mainly a state-by-state effort — and boosting "the number of residency slots for eligible Medicare funding to address physician and behavioral health shortages." Mr. Pollack also asked for more work surrounding the nursing shortage.

3. Improve quality, equity and transformation in healthcare through "eliminating longstanding racial and ethnic disparities," especially among moms and children. "We also must protect healthcare organizations and patients from the growing threat of cyberattacks," he wrote.

4. Lessen bureaucratic strains by curbing regulations and payer requirements. "Clinicians — not insurance companies — should determine what care patients receive," Mr. Pollack wrote. "This burden contributes to clinician burnout and drives up the cost of delivering care, or in some cases, delays necessary care."

"The healthcare workforce is exhausted — physically and mentally — as we persevere through a third pandemic winter," Mr. Pollack wrote, adding that many physicians are feeling burnt out.

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