From the Desk of Rod Hochman, MD
July 29, 2014
Dear Friends of Providence,
When I’m invited to speak to groups, I’m often asked, “What do you think of the Affordable Care Act?” It’s a topic I always enjoy discussing, even though, inevitably, not everyone will agree with my point of view. While the law is controversial and a long way from perfect, it is a landmark piece of legislation nonetheless.
That’s because for the first time in our country’s history, the United States has declared that health care is a right, not a privilege. The law affirmed that all Americans deserve access to care, whether they can afford it or not. It made health care as fundamental as the right to vote or the right for our children to receive a public education.
The law also made other essential changes. For example, it expanded access to Medicaid for more Americans, prohibited insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, did away with lifetime limits on care, and gave young people the opportunity to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until the age of 26.
Where it fell short is that it ended up being more about insurance reform than about truly fixing the delivery of health care. But we have always known that the real solutions won’t be found in Washington, D.C. In fact, many of the answers are being developed right here within Providence. Nurses, doctors, and an array of staff across our system are working every day to transform care.
On the front end, our medical groups are redesigning the primary care model to keep our patients healthier while making the experience better, more convenient, and more affordable. We’re also improving the other end of the spectrum to better support patients in the last two years of life, when people are most in need of medical attention. And we’re coordinating all the care in between.
More than 8 million Americans are now signed up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act. What this influx of newly insured individuals and families means for Providence has yet to be determined. But whatever happens, we stand ready, and our strategy to create healthier communities, together, will be a central part of the solution.
You, and thousands of friends and donors like you, are part of that solution as well. Your collective dedication has already made a tremendous impact on the communities we serve, by funding essential medical equipment for our hospitals, sending caregivers for training and special certifications, and providing the best possible care for our most vulnerable patients.
As we move forward together, I want to thank you personally for not only being part of our rich history and past successes, but also for the vital role you will play in our exciting future. It goes far beyond the financial support that you provide in this time of growing need. Your heartfelt commitment to our pursuit of excellence and compassion in care gives us strength and stability during dramatic change, and we are truly grateful for the generosity you demonstrate in so many ways.
Even with all the change and unknowns of reform, I can’t think of a better time to be in health care or a better system than Providence to help lead the way. From all of the nurses, physicians, administrators, staff, and volunteers working in our ministries throughout Southern California, thank you for being a valued partner in our mission to serve.
Rod Hochman, MD
President & CEO
Providence Health & Services