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Initiatives

Statement of The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania

Before The House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee

Presented by

Scott Bishop
Senior Vice President, Legislative Advocacy
The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP)

Harrisburg, PA
June 17, 2015

Chairman Hennessey, Chairman Samuelson, Members of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee, I am Scott Bishop, Senior Vice President, Legislative Advocacy for The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP). HAP represents and advocates for nearly 240 acute and specialty care hospitals and health systems across the state and the patients they serve.

I appreciate the opportunity to present why hospitals and health systems across the Commonwealth support House Bill 1329—Rep. Hal English’s legislation establishing the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act.

As we all know, the health care delivery system is changing, and, as it does, consumers are becoming more engaged and empowered customers.

As individuals are asked to spend more of their own money on health care services, they have heightened expectations about health care value and the customer experience. Consumer expectations in health care are higher, and personalized service has become a standard for “quality.”

Consumer research conducted for HAP in 2014, told us that the patient’s idea of value is the total experience, from the moment of their first conversation with the provider to the time of discharge and follow-up. People expect high-quality outcomes, want transparency, and most importantly, desire an emotionally satisfying, compassionate, respectful experience.

HAP and its member hospitals and health systems are working to achieve improved care outcomes and greater patient satisfaction by implementing patient- and family-centered care.

This approach is supported by full collaboration and partnership among all members of the health care team, including the patient and their family. It also reinforces hospitals’ commitment to patient safety and the highest possible quality of health care delivery.

As part of this effort, HAP has established the nation’s first statewide Patient and Family Engagement Advisory Council comprised of caregivers, patients, and their families, and community members to serve as a guide and resource to assist hospitals with improving patient outcomes and patient satisfaction through the use of patient-and-family-centered-care principles.

As a result of Pennsylvania hospitals’ and health systems’ focus on consumer empowerment and deep commitment to ensuring that patients receive the highest quality care, we have joined with AARP in supporting HB 1329.

We know that the individuals to whom patients entrust their care after leaving the hospital need to have the information and assistance required to care for their loved ones when they are back at home. House Bill 1329 underscores the commitment by Pennsylvania hospitals to fully engage family members and other lay caregivers in the care process.

More specifically, the bill will assist a patient’s health care team by making sure they know and establish relationships with the lay caregiver providing care to the patient when they are discharged.

House Bill 1329 also seeks to facilitate key points of information during the discharge process. The bill supports the tremendous work being done by hospitals and health systems to prevent unnecessary readmissions by ensuring that a patient’s lay caregiver has the instruction they need to perform the care that the patient will require at home.

I should note that HAP took a leadership role in a three-year national effort that sought to reduce preventable harm by 40 percent and reduce hospital readmissions by 20 percent. The results—outlined in HAP’s recently released Annual Quality Report—shares that participating hospitals were successful in reducing all-cause readmissions by 26 percent.

House Bill 1329 will help address issues related to health literacy, and provide clarity on issues such as medication reconciliation, scheduling and attending follow-up appointments, physician continuity and communication, proper nutrition and exercise, and other post-acute care instruction.

Finally, the legislation appropriately calls for a study by the Joint State Government Commission to evaluate the impact of the act on patient care moving forward.

In conclusion, Pennsylvania’s hospital community supports House Bill 1329 because it is built on a premise that those in health care understand to be true––no facility can fully recreate the comforts of home, and given a choice, most people would rather heal, recover, and get better at home.

The legislation provides appropriate guidance to hospitals regarding how best to get information to a patient’s lay caregiver, and it reinforces the notion that patients and families are best served when a patient’s health care team and lay caregiver are in close contact as a patient is being discharged.

Thank you again for the opportunity to tell the Committee why HAP supports HB 1329. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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