OUR GUEST Mary Richards, Executive Director of Partners for Better Care, joined the show to talk to us about the how they are working to influence policy aimed at making healthcare more cost-efficient, transparent, and fair and why 2016 is The Year of the Patient.
Specifically, we discuss the following with Mary on this episode:
- (2:35) Why was it important to release a Patient Charter at this time?
- (4:04) How can we make consumers out-of-pocket costs more predictable and manageable?
- (6:21) How can we increase transparency around health care cost and quality information?
- (7:53) How can we improve provider network adequacy?
- (9:54) How can we ensure reasonable health system costs?
- (11:43) How can we improve the insurance appeals process to make it easy, quick, and fair?
- (13:15) How can we ensure fair and stable formularies, and equitable access to therapies?
- (15:05) What have I missed, what would you like to communicate about the Patient Charter and the Partners for Better Care that I have not asked?
About Partners for Better Care
We strive to be a partnership of patient and disease advocacy groups, responsible industry leaders and concerned citizens who believe that Americans should have access to the tools necessary to make the best and most informed decisions for their health and the health of their families.
Partners for Better Care has worked together to establish a core set of principles contained in a new, nonpartisan Patient Charter. Together, we will rally around this Charter as a broad roadmap for the next generation of health care, and we will start a national conversation backed by millions of patients and the most relevant players.
High-quality medical care is available in the United States, but many Americans are unable to access the care they need. Access to affordable, patient-centered care and innovations—including coverage of preventive services, tools for management of chronic conditions, coordinated care management and specialist care, innovative therapies and technologies and treatments for any medical condition or emergency—is critical. Although more Americans than ever before now have health care coverage, out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and cost-sharing for medical services, are escalating at substantially disproportionate rates compared to the wages of the average American. Additionally, complicated benefit designs such as prescription tiering and narrow physician networks are making it increasingly difficult to access quality care, and increasingly essential for patients to understand how to purchase coverage.
Based on extensive opinion research and policy analysis, the priority policy issues for Partners for Better Care can be categorized into six areas of focus. Our priority issues, all of which must be culturally competent, include:
- Predictable, manageable out-of-pocket costs, and limited cost shifting
- Transparency of cost and quality information
- Provider network adequacy
- Reasonable health system costs
- Fair and stable formularies and equitable access to therapies
- Easy, quick, fair, and understandable appeals processes
Aimed at tackling these issue areas comprehensively, Partners for Better Care helps patients and their allies by advocating for the next generation of health care based on key principles of patient-centered quality care, availability, transparency and affordability. And we hope you will join us. (from http://partnersforbettercare.org/)
About Mary Richards
Partners for Better Care is proud to introduce its Executive Director, Mary Richards. Mary joins the team with nearly twenty years of patient advocacy, policy, lobbying, and Congressional experience. For five years, Mary led the Alzheimer’s Association’s federal policy agenda on Capitol Hill and with the Administration, which included efforts on medical innovation, aging, care delivery, and long-term care. Kicking off a period of intense activity and successes for the Alzheimer’s community, Mary worked to draft and enact the National Alzheimer’s Project Act – the first Alzheimer’s-specific bill to be enacted in 18 years. Research funding remained a top-priority for the Association and Mary secured more than $500 million in additional Alzheimer’s-specific funds at NIH and created a new program at the Department of Defense for Alzheimer’s research. During this time, Mary was the founding Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM), an independent political organization working in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association. Under Mary’s leadership, AIM was the first patient advocacy 501c4 organization to launch an affiliated Political Action Committee (PAC), which grew to be a mid-sized PAC within its first political cycle. Prior to joining the Alzheimer’s Association, Mary served as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN). At PAN, she directed the government relations’ activities of the Parkinson’s community, primarily focused on public policy efforts to hasten research and development of breakthrough therapies. In addition to enactment of legislation and regulatory decisions specifically helpful to the Parkinson’s community, Mary led several efforts with widespread patient-centered research implications, including a policy development effort that began in 2009 and made specific recommendations for a new translational science center at NIH. Additionally, she was one of four Legislative Team Leaders for the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR). Mary began her career in Washington by working on Capitol Hill for more than 6 years for two Members of the House of Representatives. As a senior legislative aide, she focused on health policy and worked on the Patient’s Bill of Rights and creation of Medicare Part D, among other issues, with the Congressional Democratic Health Care Task-force. Mary graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. She has served as a board member of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA and the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, as well as holding leadership positions with the National Health Council.
Keywords Year of the Patient, #bettercare #PBC #patientcharter