Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2014 - (Page 3)

president'smessage 2014 BOARD OF TRUSTEES Chairman of the Board James e. Shmerling, d.h.A. Children's hospital Colorado Vice Chair/Chair Elect Peggy troy, rn, m.S.n. Children's hospital of Wisconsin Secretary Amy B. mansue Children's Specialized hospital Treasurer thomas d. Kmetz Kosair Children's hospital Board members Steve J. Allen, m.d. nationwide Children's hospital madeline Bell the Children's hospital of Philadelphia Christopher G. dawes lucile Packard hospital Stanford Christopher J. durovich Children's medical Center dallas herman B. Gray, m.d. detroit medical Center Jeff Sperring, m.d., fAAP riley hospital for Children at indiana University health Karen r. Wolfson Wolfson Children's hospital Steve Worley louisiana Children's medical Center mark Wietecha Children's hospital Association ASSOCIATION LEADERSHIP President and CEO mark Wietecha Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Amy Wimpey Knight Vice President, Informatics Services david Bertoch Vice President, Human Resources larry Gardner Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Brian humphreys Vice President, Public Policy Jim Kaufman, Ph.d. Senior Vice President, Commercial Services david Spizman Vice President and Chief Information Officer richard Stepanek Risky business Children's hospitals cannot be excluded from health plans. O ver the last 20 years, employers and the government have steadily moved to limit their financial exposure to rising health care costs. They are doing this by providing health care plans to beneficiaries with more cost-sharing features, such as higher deductibles. Higher out-of-pocket payment plans are intended to create a stronger retail dynamic to health care utilization. In competitive retail markets, consumers shop carefully, pay attention to price, ask questions and are careful in their choices. Applied to health care, the notion is this will reduce the rate of spending and is the current de facto national model for curtailing costs. For child health, this is an experiment with risks. The implementation of the newly minted health care exchanges illustrated the power of this retail concept, with many plans excluding the more expensive specialized hospitals and physicians to keep overall prices down. Children's hospitals are among those excluded, deemed too expensive for the basic plan offering. There is no question children's hospitals are expensive compared to general community hospitals. Children's hospitals care for the most ill and vulnerable children, requiring more specialized staff, more space, and more technology than a general hospital to get the job done. Children's hospitals shoulder an outsize share of the nation's pediatric education and research- essential missions without margins. And, while any of the nation's general hospitals half funded by Medicaid would be considered an exceptional "shield hospital" due to the challenging socioeconomics of this patient mix, the average children's hospital is already well beyond 50 percent Medicaid today. Can our nation's children's hospitals be more cost effective under these conditions? Of course, but regardless of effectiveness, children's hospitals are and will be expensive by virtue of the missions they serve. So how will our emerging, price-sensitive, Internet-shopping system appropriately include children's hospitals? Most families never expect to require the expertise of a children's hospital, nor should they. Most children are born healthy, and many stay that way through adulthood. However, when children are born with problems, when accidents occur, and when there are problems nobody else understands, every family, parent and guardian turns to children's hospitals and their pediatricians for answers, for hope. It's at these moments when children's hospitals restore that hope, perform medical miracles and change lives. We must anticipate these moments, and every health plan should include children's hospitals on the most accessible tier of participation to serve any child and family. Advocating for this access through our public policy work, our quality and safety initiatives, our research and analytics, and our education and communications is the Association's priority. mArK WieteChA President and CEO Children's Hospital Association Send questions or comments to

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2014

Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2014
Editor's Note
President's Message
Reader Commentary
Everyday Heo
Transforming Care
Measuring Up
Data Breach: 10 Ways to Prepare and Respond
A Fresh Take
Balancing the Business of Care
Better Together
Public Policy Update
Board Member Q&A
Child's Story

Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2014