As we move into a new decade, I want to reflect on our impact this past year and highlight the goals and challenges ahead. Looking back, we have achieved significant accomplishments and clearly our collective voices are being heard.
Many of our Medicaid Policy Center recommendations have turned into public policy. For instance, the state insurance program no longer pays for early elective deliveries that have no medical necessity and can harm mothers and babies. Our state lawmakers also passed legislation that will change how Medicaid pays for births in ways that reward the providers who follow best practices and achieve good outcomes. Medicaid also will ask CMS to allow the agency to pay for six months post-partum rather than only 60 days. And we’ve been asked to advise state officials moving forward with initiatives to reduce maternal mortality.
These are all wins for mothers and babies. We look forward to continuing this work in 2020.
In this past year, we received funding from Arnold Ventures for our Reproductive Health Access Project and in 2020 we will release a toolkit for providers and their office staff to navigate them through confusing billing and regulatory hurdles, and assist them in offering comprehensive reproductive health care — which is an essential element of high quality care.
Our Conversation of Your Life (COYL) program is now in 14 counties. We should all be proud of COYL as it requires a team effort from our members, volunteers, and mayors, who make up each task force.
The local-based programming includes authors, movies, and multi-topic program series which all support how to have important conversations about advance care wishes and planning. COYL is the only program we know of anywhere that is led by mayors or other local community leaders and is designed through the local vision of each community. In 2020, we will continue to scale and grow COYL and expand our materials in multiple languages.
At the Quality Institute, we’re also about controlling costs and providing access. That’s why I’m especially excited that in 2020 we’ll continue our work with Senator Joe Vitale and our Health Care Reform Work group. The two areas of focus are affordability and access. While the ACA made great strides, for some groups such as small employers, the reforms were not enough and that is an area of growing concern for us.
I can close by quickly mentioning that last year we finally received one hundred percent hospital participation in the Leapfrog Safety Survey. Again, that success is due to the hospitals’ commitment to transparency and safety, as well as the payors and consumers asking for this important information.
Thank you for your partnership. We wish everyone a safe, warm, and happy holiday break. We’re grateful to have had such an impactful 2019 and we are looking forward to an even better 2020, where we will continue our work to improve the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for everyone. Happy 2020 and here’s to our future collaborative impact.