Health Reform Myths and Facts: Part Two

In part one of the series we corrected the myth that PPACA strengthened the government’s position as an important audience. The fact is, PPACA made the government THE most important audience. Part two discusses the myth that health reform is over.

Myth #2: Health reform is largely over and there will be no more major changes in the foreseeable future.

Fact:  The PPACA marks the beginning of a new era of healthcare dialogue and policymaking. 

PPACA created 105 new agencies, oversight boards and programs. Each of these will have its own set of decision makers and influencers. In addition, there are 1,051 “the Secretary shall” directives in the law. For many of those directives, Congress will direct a Cabinet Secretary, such as Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, to establish a new program or office or write a report to Congress with a recommendation. Each of these actions represents new opportunities and challenges for professional communicators to help influence the outcome and participate in the public dialogue.

For example, despite the rhetoric, PPACA is as much about reforming the process of care delivery as it is about health insurance reforms and coverage access. The law appropriates $15 billion play casino online in new grants for prevention and wellness initiatives and $10 billion for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. These types of grants will test payment and delivery reforms in “demonstration projects” that, if successful, could be rolled out nationwide.  If your company participates in a demonstration project, it can claim the mantle of thought leadership, be on the forefront of reform and it allows your company to build relationships with important government leaders and influential third party groups. These projects also provide compelling media stories, filling the need for meaningful content. Companies can also demonstrate leadership through deeds, as well as words.  

Rather than expend resources on initiatives that transparently serve the interests only of themselves, corporations should take advantage of the many opportunities created by PPA to participate, engage and lead thinking about the future of healthcare. Why?  Because by linking to epochal events that are driving their sector, healthcare companies can communicate their own thought leadership, build their own reputations and develop new relationships with like-minded stakeholders — in addition to advocating for their own point of view.

Check back later this week for the final part of this series, myth 3. I”ll explain why government relations professionals need to be more concerned with the world outside of the government than they may think.

Read the full article, including myths 1 & 3, as it appeared in Communiqué magazine.