The Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) Board of Stewardship Trustees has endorsed the organization’s Advocacy Priorities for 2015-2016. The Board’s endorsement culminates an extensive priority setting process that involved input from CHI leaders and employees as well as recommendations from the Advocacy Advisory Committee.
CHI's advocacy priorities have remained fairly consistent over multiple years, but the sub-issues within the priority areas have been continually refined. This refinement reflects changing political and social realities as well as CHI’s organizational objectives and needs. Access and Coverage for All has been CHI’s highest priority for well over a decade and that focus continues for 2015-2016. In addition, Community Health Improvement has been added to CHI’s priorities.
CHI’s advocacy activities will not necessarily be limited to these priority issues. CHI will continue to monitor and act on additional issues impacting the health and well-being of the communities we serve as they arise. We will continue our commitment to advocacy at the local, state and national levels as we advance our vision of creating healthier communities and serving as a voice for persons who are most vulnerable.
Assure that all persons have access to and coverage for needed health care services. Pursue: protection and expansion of the coverage gains of the Affordable Care Act; reauthorization of Children’s Health Insurance Program funding; elimination of disparities in health care access, quality and outcomes; and increased access to mental health services and high-quality palliative care.
Preserve and promote the charitable purpose and tax-exempt status of nonprofit health care. Pursue: financial assistance policies that meet the unique needs of individuals and communities with particular concern for persons who are most vulnerable; recognition and understanding of the provision and reporting of community benefit; and upholding of conscience protections.
Advance the transformation of the health care delivery system through clinical integration of care that improves quality, care coordination, outcomes and efficiencies. Pursue: effective delivery models, rules and payment for the full continuum of care; widespread use of electronic health records; effective systems for managing chronic illness; and expanded use of telehealth.
Address factors impacting the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Pursue: additional programs and support for prevention and wellness efforts; programs to address determinants of health, including affordable housing and early childhood development; health literacy education; environmental sustainability; and immigration reform.
Seek funding for patients, providers and programs that is fair, reasonable and recognizes value. Pursue: quality measures and payment mechanisms to reward provision of high-value care; improvement of the Medicare program and provider payments; expansion and effective utilization of the workforce; preservation of 340B drug discounts; and protection of Medicaid.
Protect access to high-quality health care services in rural areas. Pursue: preservation of critical access hospital (CAH) status and payment mechanisms; and reasonable requirements for CAHs relating to physician supervision and patient length of stay.
Advance initiatives to address, reduce and prevent violence locally and nationally. Pursue: sharing of effective models of evidence-informed violence prevention efforts; community action to address local violence issues; education on violence as a public health issue; increased funding for violence prevention; and policies to prevent and reduce all forms of violence.
CHI's continuing involvement in advocacy provides the opportunity to shape future directions in health and social policy while also responding to current realities. CHI seeks to position itself as an informative and influential leader in fulfilling its commitment to advocacy.