WASHINGTON - Governors focused on innovative strategies to improve the nation's road to wellness, enhance the delivery and efficiency of health care services and increase the long-term sustainability of the nation's health care system during the National Governors Association Winter Meeting.
The discussion, "Innovations in Reducing Health Care Costs While Improving Services," was held during the Health and Human Services Committee session today and featured the following speakers: Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H., assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Laura Jackson, executive vice president for health care strategy and policy at Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
"Given the uncertainty facing our nation's health care delivery system and the state of the economy, this session was very beneficial for governors seeking solutions to better contain health care costs, particularly for chronic conditions," said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, chair of the committee. "It provided an opportunity for governors to highlight new ways to help our citizens adopt comprehensive lifestyle changes that promote their health and improve their quality of life while still being cost effective. If successful, these changes could help states to redirect resources currently being consumed by health care and lost productivity to other important areas of the state economy."
"To keep our states moving forward, we have to make our health care systems sustainable, so that everyone is able to access the care they need," said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, vice chair of the committee. "This meeting brought governors from across the country together to discuss innovations to provide health care in a way that benefits citizens and eases demanding costs."
Koh and Jackson outlined action steps governors can take to improve health outcomes for their citizens while also reducing health care costs, particularly for chronic health conditions.