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Coalition presents glowing picture of health care


Rochester Business Journal
October 1, 2009

    A communitywide coalition to improve care delivery and improve residents’ general level of health has made strides in returning the Rochester-area to a preeminent position in health care nationally, local executives told Business Council of New York State Inc. members.
    Wegmans Food Markets Inc. vice chairman Paul Speranza Jr. and Xerox Corp.’s director of alliances, partnerships and analytics, Lawrence Becker, painted a glowing picture of communitywide health care improvement efforts among area businesses, government officials, community groups, religious organizations and others to focus on improving health and health care in the region.
    The Eat Well Live Well program and other health care-focused collaborations among area health systems; major employers, including Wegmans, Eastman Kodak Co., Xerox and Bausch & Lomb Inc.; and organizations, including Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, have earned plaudits from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Partnership for Prevention, Speranza said.
    Other firms and organizations Speranza names as “partners we can count on” in a several years long collaboration were the Rochester Institute of Technology, Paychex Corp. and Jasco Tools Inc.
    Becker outlined cooperative steps coalition partners have taken to develop the area’s budding electronic health information exchange, the Rochester Regional Health Information Organization, into one state Health Commissioner Richard Daines M.D. named as New York’s most advanced. Other successful collaborative efforts he named were:

  • Participation by 300 companies and 44,000 workers in Eat Well Live Well;
  • Efforts to develop lean operating practices in area hospitals;
  • Area hospitals’ efforts to increase usage of less expensive generic drugs; and
  • Cooperative efforts to boost physician pay.

    The generic drug program, for example, shaved $60 million off the region’s prescription drug expenses last year, Becker said.
    In concentrating on health care improvement, Speranza said, coalition partners aim to improve local health care outcomes and contain costs, as well as be a beacon for the rest of the state.
    Speranza along with FLHSA executive director Fran Weisberg previously urged President Barack Obama to visit Rochester in hopes Obama would see elements in local efforts that could be applied to national health care reform.
    Rochester-area health care costs and outcomes compare favorably with relatively low-cost areas such as Rochester, Minn., that Obama has cited as positive examples.
    Still, like their counterparts elsewhere in the state and the nation, local employers cite rising health care costs as their No. 1 worry.

(c) 2009 Rochester Business Journal. Obtain permission to reprint this article.

October 1, 2009 - Posted by | healthcare | , , ,

1 Comment »

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    Comment by Groceries for Cheap | October 17, 2009 | Reply

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