Prepping for January 2014

This weekend, I was in Fort Worth, Texas for the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) 78th annual conference.

I participated in a panel discussion with the Executive Vice President of UnitedHealth Group and Chief Healthcare Officer of United Health Group Alliances Dr. Richard Migliori and Former Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt on healthcare reform and its impacts on counties. Before the panel began, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke to the participating counties in attendance.

Los Angeles County is the 2nd largest public health system in the country with a $3.5 billion annual budget. Every year, we handle 2.9 million outpatient visits, and 64% of those who come to our facilities are uninsured.

We are making the necessary investments to improve our technology and patient experience, and market our services and facilities to our new potential customers.

There are challenges ahead of us, including the potential impact of immigration reform and other unknown costs. Los Angeles County must shift to a preventative model of care where our patients won’t wait until their conditions are severely aggravated before they come into our facilities. We are doing everything we can to prepare ourselves and our patients for the January 2014 roll-out of the Affordable Care Act.