MetroHealth board chairman meets with Senator Portman
Ron Fountain, MetroHealth Board Chairman, and Dan Bucci, Manager of Federal Government Relations, went to Washington, D.C., to meet with U.S. Senator Rob Portman (pictured right). Dr. Fountain was part of a small, select group of hospital executives asked by the Ohio Hospital Association to represent all Ohio hospitals in the Oct. 28 meeting with the senator.
The meeting was critical to MetroHealth because Sen. Portman is one of 12 members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also referred to as the Super Committee, which is tasked with proposing $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction measures. Medicare and Medicaid are at risk of bearing a large portion of those cuts.
Dr. Fountain was tasked with speaking about important Medicaid issues, specifically the importance of hospital provider assessments and maintaining the federal match of state Medicaid funds. Dr. Fountain explained that while the other systems do their share, MetroHealth shoulders the brunt of the uninsured burden in Cleveland. He also noted that transformation of the entire health care system is needed, not just provider cuts, and that transformation requires time and can't be done if hospitals are paid less.
Dr. Fountain noted that Ohio hospitals are united and fixing the problem for one institution does not fix the problem for the industry as a whole. His comments were well received not only by Senator Portman but his colleagues as well.
It is noteworthy that the meeting occurred at all. Super Committee members have been extremely selective in meeting with advocacy groups, and most have not held similar meetings with their hospital delegations.