From the Governor's office:
Governor Bob McDonnell today announced the members of his Virginia Health Reform Initiative Advisory Council. This Council will provide recommendations to the Governor towards a comprehensive strategy for implementing health reform in Virginia. The Advisory Council will go beyond federal health reform and recommend other innovative healthcare solutions that meet the needs of Virginia's citizens and government. The Advisory Council's recommendations for addressing health care access, cost and delivery in Virginia may serve as a model for other states. The recommendations of the Council will help create an improved health system that is an economic driver for Virginia while allowing for more effective and efficient delivery of high quality health care at lower cost.
Speaking about the Council's composition, Governor McDonnell remarked, "Every Virginian needs access to affordable health care. The challenge is how to provide that access in an economically responsible manner. This group of leaders will help us plan for the future of healthcare in Virginia, and the growing costs that will have a significant impact on our budget and our taxpayers unless we act proactively and wisely today. The tremendous rate of growth in Medicaid spending in Virginia, which is only going to increase due to federal health care reform, is unsustainable. I look forward to their recommendations and work in the months ahead."
Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel remarked, "We have assembled a dynamic group of leaders from the legislature, health care delivery, health care policy, health insurance, and the business community that will help shape the future of healthcare in Virginia. I am grateful for their time, expertise, and commitment to the task of ensuring a safe, effective, and quality healthcare delivery system while reducing costs."
The Advisory Council will establish task forces in six key areas: Medicaid Reform, Insurance Market Reform, Delivery and Payment Reform, Capacity, Technology, and Purchasers Perspective. In June, Governor McDonnell appointed Cindi Jones as the Director of the Virginia Health Reform Initiative; Jones is one of the nation's first state officials dedicated to health care reform. Additional healthcare stakeholders and business representatives will be asked to serve on these critical task forces. The Advisory Council will hold its initial meeting on August 20 and August 21, 2010 in Roanoke, Virginia.