The Business Alliance for Community Health (BACH), a program of the ECHN Community Healthcare Foundation, held their quarterly informational meeting and breakfast at Manchester Memorial Hospital on February 22, 2013. Rep. Joe Courtney, who had presented to the group three years ago, was asked to return and present on the topic of healthcare reform and Connecticut business.
Rep. Courtney and Peter J. Karl, President & CEO of Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN), spoke to the group about the changes and the challenges the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” has brought and will continue to bring to the healthcare industry, and that it was not totally unwelcomed. “I think the system was ready for change,” said Courtney. “The old fee-for-service system is something I don’t think even providers liked. We’re now getting people working together.” Karl explained that healthcare organizations felt the need for change. The one area getting a boost from the government is information technology. Karl said that “Connecting physicians to hospitals, and hospitals to other hospitals, reduces the duplication of services.” This would lower utilization and lower the total cost of healthcare, he said.
Rep. Courtney felt the consolidation of healthcare providers, driven by the healthcare act, was helping to reduce readmissions and emergency room visits and praised Manchester Memorial and Rockville General Hospitals for “making the grade” in reducing their patient re-visiting rates.
During the business portion of the event, plaques and certificates were presented to new BACH members. Rep. Courtney also presented Karl with a proclamation from his office, recognizing the mission of BACH and the milestone recently reached of donations to ECHN totaling more than $1 million from its members since 2009.
Courtney’s discussion on healthcare reform, sequestration and their effects on Connecticut business was well-received by the event’s 75 attendees. The meeting concluded with a full breakfast for the BACH members and their guests.
To find out more about the Business Alliance for Community Health or to become a member, visit www.echn.org/bach, or call Stan Kontogiannis, Senior Development Officer at 860.647.4754.
Eric Person, CEO of the Home Builder & Remodelers Association of Greater Hartford and Chair of the ECHN Corporate Relations Committee; Peter Karl, ECHN President & CEO; U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney; Kathy O’Neill, Chair of the ECHN Community Healthcare Foundation Board of Trustees; and Dr. Dennis O’Neill, Chair of the ECHN Board of Trustees.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney presented Peter Karl with a Proclamation from his office, recognizing the mission of the Business Alliance and the milestone recently reached of donations to ECHN totaling more than $1 million from BACH members since 2009.