Hospitals, SEIU-UHW Reach Visionary Agreement on Future of Health Care Policy, Relationships in California
May 2, 2012
Issued jointly by:
David Regan, President, SEIU-UHW and C. Duane Dauner, President/CEO, California Hospital Association
For information, contact: Steve Trossman, SEIU-UHW, (213) 300-1882 or Jan Emerson-Shea, CHA, (916) 552-7516
OAKLAND – The California Hospital Association and SEIU-United Healthcare Workers – West have reached a comprehensive, strategic agreement to jointly take on the many challenges facing the health care system, including rising costs, burgeoning levels of chronic disease, and the need to provide the highest quality of care for the people of California.
Reached after two months of meetings and conversations to discuss issues of mutual interest, the agreement calls for SEIU-UHW and CHA to work in good faith, along with other key stakeholders, to find practical solutions that can replace or improve the current hospital pricing system and protect the neediest patients by addressing uncompensated care in hospitals in a manner that accounts for low Medicare and Medi-Cal payments.
Talks between CHA and SEIU-UHW have focused on establishing a new vision for health care in California, public policy priorities and organizational relationships. These discussions have resulted in an understanding that hospitals and SEIU-UHW embrace many of the same goals and values, including a commitment to lowering the rate of increase in health care costs, improving quality and patient safety, improving the health of both hospital employees and the public, improving the health status of the population, enhancing productivity, aligning fiscal incentives to promote cost-effective quality care, reducing chronic disease, and supporting high-road labor-management relations.
The agreement calls for CHA and SEIU-UHW to develop and advocate public policies that benefit patients and promote efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and to work collaboratively on innovative approaches to addressing the health care workforce shortage, including more effective use of allied health care workers and professional advancement opportunities for health care personnel.
CHA also is joining SEIU-UHW in the promotion of a healthier California by supporting its “Let’s Get Healthy California” campaign to reduce chronic disease and improve the health status of Californians for future generations.
In a demonstration of good faith in support of this historic agreement, the proponents will not submit signatures to qualify the charity care and hospital pricing initiatives for the November 2012 ballot.
We are at a pivotal point in the evolution of health care. The policies that are adopted during the next few years will determine the course that health care will take for decades to come. This is a unique time of opportunity for leadership, collaboration and cooperation. The joint discussions of SEIU-UHW and CHA are unprecedented and speak to the importance of the issues facing California and the nation. We firmly believe that our farsighted and visionary accord is the right thing to do for patients, health care workers and our society.