The healthcare reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Sunday night is receiving some praise from Gundersen Lutheran Health System.
A statement released by Gundersen Lutheran says "there are serious flaws in our nation's healthcare system that need to be addressed. The healthcare reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives Sunday night takes some positive steps to correct some of these flaws."
Gundersen officials say they were able to work with Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind and Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz to include a number of reforms in the legislation.
Gundersen's statement says the healthcare legislation takes steps toward promotion of value-based healthcare. "This is positive for our patients and consistent with Gundersen Lutheran's value-based healthcare model, which is disadvantaged under the current national system," said the statement.
The bill will also promote the integration of healthcare institutions to improve public health and reduce cost--a model that Gundersen followed in 1995 when it united its hospital, clinic and health plan.
The bill will also correct the federal payment structure for Medicare, which currently disadvantages healthcare providers in the Midwest, like Gundersen Lutheran, and diverts significant dollars to other regions of the country.
Finally, the bill will increase health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans. Said Gundersen, "We believe this will positively impact the health and financial security of large numbers of our region's families who currently lack insurance to cover their medical expenses."
But the statement from Gundersen Lutheran says there are a number of areas where further effort is needed, including further addressing healthcare professional shortages, especially in rural areas; streamlining regulation and administrative burden to avoid diverting resources away from patient care; and cost shifting due to inadequate federal funding of Medicare and Medicaid that results in higher premiums for private- and employer-sponsored insurance coverage.