“This ruling allows health systems like ours to continue making positive reforms to the country’s health care system that was on an unsustainable track prior to the passage of the Act,” says Schlichting, who heads one of the largest integrated health care systems in the United States.
“We’re thrilled for the nearly 500,000 uninsured people in Michigan who will now have access to affordable health care, many for the first time, which in turn will bring much needed economic relief to Henry Ford and other health care providers that have been coping for years with the growing cost of uncompensated care.”
Henry Ford’s uncompensated care has doubled in the past eight years, from $111 million in 2003 to $210 million in 2011.
Schlichting says the affirmative ruling assures that:
- Patients with pre-existing conditions won’t be denied coverage.
- Patients in poor health won’t be asked to pay more.
- Families can cover their adult children up to age 26.
- Collaboration between hospitals and physicians will lead to more reforms.
- Hospitals will have the capacity to serve more patients as access to quality outpatient services grows.
Henry Ford has been a national leader by demonstrating a strong and continued commitment to improving care and reducing costs. The No Harm Campaign, which started before passage of the Affordable Care Act, has resulted in a 31 percent reduction in harm events and 12 percent reduction in mortality over a three-year period. By comparison, the average reduction in harm events is roughly 1 percent to 2 percent per year in most U.S. hospitals.
Its e-Prescribing initiative, which allows physicians to write prescriptions from a personal computer or wireless device and send them directly to a patient’s pharmacy, has improved patient safety, increased generic medication rates and reduced costs for the patient and the payor.