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HAP through the Years: 1990–2000

October 29, 2021

During 2021, The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) proudly marks its centennial with a look back at 100 years of milestones, advocacy, and support for Pennsylvania’s hospitals.

This week, HAP recaps the 1990s, a decade that saw a transition to outpatient medical care and a renewed focus on population health as Pennsylvania’s hospitals prepared for a new millennium.

The 1990s

A new vision: At the start of the decade, HAP launched its plan for the future, known as Health Care Vision 2000. The plan would become the cornerstone for the association to build its future, with a strong emphasis on leadership, partnerships, and service to the hospital community.

Dramatic changes:  The surgical innovations of the previous two decades—heart bypass, laser and laparoscopic surgery, and anesthesia—continued to transform care during the 1990s. This decade saw the explosive growth of outpatient surgery, as procedures that previously required weeks in hospital recovery could now be completed the same day. Hospitals also began to grow their outpatient medical centers, creating “one-stop shops” where every facet of care could happen under one roof. The transition to outpatient settings in the 1990s foreshadowed changes in the delivery of care that would come.

The use of email and digital technology added another layer of transformation, as Pennsylvania’s hospitals readied to enter a new millennium.

A new leader:  Carolyn Scanlan joined HAP during 1995 and served as HAP’s president and CEO through 2012. In a 1995 letter to members, she wrote: “Working together, we will reach our destination—the best health care system possible for the people we serve.”

Quotable:  “The greatest health care challenge for this decade will be to restructure our health care system to answer the question of whether health care is a right or a privilege,” John A. Russell, HAP’s president and CEO, said at the outset of the decade.

Key purpose: “The fundamental mission and purpose of tomorrow’s health plan should be to take scarce resources and use them to improve the health of the citizens of Pennsylvania. HAP’s primary mission will be to make certain that the system of tomorrow is created by and responsive to community need to the best of its ability,” Russell said.