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Health care stakeholders must help to achieve reform

Hospitals play a vital role in communities across this country, providing all Americans with access to needed health care services, and again this year we are playing a key role in the current health care reform efforts. America's hospitals support meaningful reform, and to illustrate this commitment have come forward and made the largest good faith effort to date, agreeing to $155 billion to help advance coverage for virtually all Americans.

At McDuffie Regional Hospital, we work every day to provide quality care for all patients, but we also see first-hand the impact of our nation's broken health care system. The result has been patients with no access to primary or preventative care coming to our hospital without insurance. They are often sicker and with chronic conditions that make providing care more complicated and more costly.

While there is much work to be done in Washington, all stakeholders -- insurers, suppliers, employers, providers, unions and individuals -- must step forward and do their part if we are to achieve meaningful and sustainable reform.

Additionally, it is critical that any health reform bill be based on expanding coverage to at least 95 percent of the population and must ensure that our hospitals remain strong and able to provide care to patients and our communities.

McDuffie Regional has served our area for almost 60 years and my hope is that through the many political solutions offered, the best solutions will come from sound business principles and economic rational. There is too much to risk going forward to speed a process by mandate without strategically considering the financial implications. Thank you for this opportunity to help educate our citizens.

Douglas C. Keir, FACHE

Chief Executive Officer

McDuffie Regional Medical Center

Web posted on Thursday, August 13, 2009

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