11 – Interview with Rick Pollack, MPA, President and CEO of the American Hospital Association
Rick Pollack is President and CEO of the American Hospital Association, elected in May 2015, having served the organization for more than three decades. The AHA represents more than 5,000 hospitals and 43,000 members nationwide—and works to ensure that the perspective and needs of healthcare providers are heard and addressed in national health policy development. The association has been cited by numerous national publications as one of the most influential and effective advocacy organizations in Washington.
Rick has developed a sterling reputation for pressing the hospital group’s agenda on Capitol Hill and beyond. Under his leadership, the AHA launched AHAPAC, now one of the largest health care political action committees in the U.S., supporting congressional candidates who support hospitals and patients. Through his vision, the AHA also helped found in 2000 the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care, a group of providers, businesses and other stakeholders dedicated to ensuring the financial viability of our nation’s hospitals from the threats of federal cuts in reimbursement for hospital payments.
Rick has been a leader in efforts to expand health coverage in the U.S., taking part in many broad-based national coalitions that ultimately led to coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
- There are a number of public policy issues on the horizon that will impact the health ecosystem in the coming year. These include Medicaid payments to hospitals and health systems, eliminating surprise billing, addressing the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs, ongoing work to ease the regulatory burden in areas that don’t impact patient care, ongoing litigation with the federal government regarding regulations, and of course, the 2020 election.
- Providers, insurers and pharmaceutical companies can be competitors or collaborators depending on the issue at hand. We’re all working to innovate and improve patient care.
- The field is moving towards value-based payment. We are seeing an increase in delivery system reforms that will transform the industry to focus on quality and cost.
- Hospital mergers are good for patients because they provide the scale to manage risk, access capital, and purchase equipment and supplies more efficiently.
- Hospitals and health systems are working to expand their reach outside the four walls to provide care to patients throughout the community and even in their homes. This includes working to address the social determinants of health, which have an outsized role in the health of individuals.