AHA Annual Membership Meeting set for May


AHA to bring together, policy, health care leaders

Leaders from Congress, policy groups and health care will come together May 7–10 for the American Hospital Association Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme is “Advancing Health in America.” Media big names slated to participate include Kelly O’Donnell and David Gregory of NBC, political analysts Nicolle Wallace of MSNBC and Bret Baier of Fox News, and Frank Sesno, former CNN Washington bureau chief. Former Sens. Trent Lott and Tom Daschle will discuss how the nation must overcome political paralysis. A highlight will be the investiture of Gene Woods, president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System, as 2017 chair of the AHA board. On the final day of the meeting, attendees will visit their respective state congressional delegations on Capitol Hill. Register at www.aha.org.


Engaging hospital volunteers to support the Triple Aim

The AHA and its Association for Healthcare Volunteer Resource Professionals have released a guide to help hospitals and health systems develop strategic volunteer services to support the Triple Aim of improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations and reducing the per capita cost of health care. Based on interviews with volunteers, auxilians, directors of volunteer services and CEOs, the resource showcases case examples from hospitals and health systems and identifies critical success factors and a checklist for engaging volunteers in pursuing the Triple Aim. Visit www.aha.org.


Hospital mergers drive value, high-performing health care

The AHA has released new research that finds recent hospital mergers result in significant costs savings and quality improvements that cannot be replicated by looser affiliations. The analysis, Hospital Merger Benefits: Views From Hospital Leaders and Econometric Analysis, prepared by economists at Charles River Associates, shows how hospital mergers can provide a framework to transform health care in the United States. “Patients deserve a high-value, high-performing health care system,” said Rick Pollack, president and chief executive officer of the AHA. “The key to transforming health care delivery is increased efficiency and quality. In some communities and for certain hospitals, consolidation may be necessary — not only to meet the current health needs of patients and communities—but also to provide a stable foundation upon which to build the health care system of the future.” Visit www.aha.org.

Issue brief

5 hospitals that are tackling retail-oriented strategies

In response to a rapidly transforming health care environment, hospitals and health systems across the United States are exploring retail-oriented, consumer-focused care strategies. An issue brief provides case studies from five hospitals and health systems that have entered the retail health care field. Visit www.hpoe.org.


Brief examines how hospitals are holding the line on costs

Hospitals have been leaders in controlling costs in the health care sector, with hospital price growth in 2015 at the slowest annual rate since 1998 and Medicare spending growth for hospital services at its lowest level in 17 years, according to a data brief on hospital care costs released today by the AHA. In recent years, health care spending growth has been driven primarily by increased use and intensity of services, as more Americans gain health insurance coverage, an aging population uses more health care, and medical advances bring health benefits that often raise costs, the data show. Other cost challenges include increases in input prices, including prescription drugs, investments for electronic health records and growing regulatory requirements. Visit www.aha.org.