U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar Delivers ALEC Speech and Participates in Louisiana Healthcare Leaders Roundtable

(August 9, 2018) - - On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar delivered remarks at the 45th American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. His remarks focused on the Trump Administration’s commitment to working with and challenging states to improve healthcare. Here is a key excerpt from his speech:

“From administering Medicaid programs to providing mental health services, retiree healthcare, and public health programs, states have a major role to play in running America’s healthcare system. But we don’t just want you administering our system as it stands today. This administration believes states should play a vital role in driving American healthcare forward.”

Later in the day, Secretary Azar and Adam Boehler, Director of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation and Senior Advisor for Value-Based Transformation and Innovation, visited the “O Bar” at Ochsner Medical Center to learn about their work to integrate technology into patients’ care.

They also held a roundtable discussion with Louisiana healthcare leaders to discuss one of the priorities that Secretary Azar has identified for HHS: transforming America’s healthcare system into one that pays for value.

At the roundtable, Secretary Azar and Mr. Boehler outlined their vision for this transformation, focusing on four areas:
  • Maximizing the promise of health IT, including through promoting interoperability and patient control of data.
  • Boosting transparency around price and quality.
  • Pioneering bold new models in Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Removing government burdens and barriers, especially those impeding care coordination.
At the roundtable, healthcare leaders discussed the challenges and successes they have had working with the federal government on daily basis. Other topics discussed by individual leaders included: President Trump’s American Patients First drug pricing blueprint, including HHS’s announcement this week of new tools for Medicare plans to negotiate with drug companies; the possibilities presented by telemedicine; the important role played by federally qualified health centers; innovations to help patients access their own healthcare data; and the future of Accountable Care Organizations.

Secretary Azar and Mr. Boehler stressed the department’s commitment to reforming regulations that could be impeding value-based, coordinated care, and President Trump’s commitment to ensuring all Americans have access to better healthcare at a lower cost.

Courtesy: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services