Legislative and regulatory priorities

Vizient’s Office of Public Policy and Government Relations serves as an advocate and liaison on policy and legislative issues that affect the diverse health care organizations we serve. Vizient works in conjunction with other organizations to offer a consistent provider viewpoint. The following are our current priority issues for active engagement:

Health care group purchasing

  • Support legislative and regulatory approaches that recognize the quality and the economic benefits of group purchasing organizations for community hospitals, integrated delivery networks, academic medical centers and a wide range of non-acute health care providers
  • Vizient supports the safe harbor/statutory exemption for GPOs ensuring that they can continue to function effectively

Increasing efficiency and enhancing value in health care delivery

  • Support sensible policies that appropriately align incentives to enhance efficiency and improve quality in health care delivery
  • Work closely with hospital industry allies to ensure that provisions included in the Affordable Care Act, such as value-based purchasing, bundling of payments, hospital readmission penalties and other efforts intended to improve quality through delivery system reform, are implemented recognizing the impact they will have on hospitals’ ability to provide care

Patient safety

  • Support patient safety initiatives from a product perspective (e.g., through promotion of Unique Device Identification systems for medical devices, such as bar-coding and radio frequency identification)
  • Promote efforts to create a non-punitive environment that encourages medical event reporting
  • Assure that applicable legislation provides for an educational-based system of voluntary reporting of medical errors
  • Support federal funding for patient safety technology

Non-profit health care tax issues and community benefit

  • Continue to advocate that hospitals communicate charity care and discounting policies to their communities in a clear and accessible way
  • Disseminate new information to members on the development of community benefit reporting requirements on the IRS Form 990 and Schedule H and new tax-exempt requirements enacted as part of health care reform
  • Monitor and advocate, as appropriate, on challenges to tax exemption for non-profit health care organizations and other tax-related issues

Health care reform

  • Engage in ongoing regulatory efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act
  • Monitor alternative health care reform legislation approaches that would impact non-profit, community-owned hospitals
  • Support sound policy solutions with appropriate reimbursement that reduce costs and improve quality in the delivery of health care

Medicare/Medicaid payment issues

  • Promote appropriate Medicare and Medicaid program reimbursement policies
  • Monitor the impact that proposed reimbursement changes have on community-owned, not-for-profit health care organizations

Health IT

  • Promote federal policies to encourage development of, and the removal of barriers to, health care information technology (IT), including electronic health records
  • Monitor and advocate as necessary on legislative and regulatory efforts to support appropriate reimbursement opportunities for nonprofit, community-based health care organizations that implement meaningful health IT systems

Technological innovation

  • Promote laws and regulations to encourage new and innovative technology balanced with the needs and interests of non-profit health care organizations

Shortage of prescription drugs

  • Monitor ongoing challenges with shortages of prescription drugs
  • Advocate for solutions that provide stability in the marketplace and ensure consistent availability of needed prescription drugs for hospitals

Health care workforce shortage

  • Promote federal policies and legislation designed to address the shortage of doctors, nurses and other health care personnel

Infectious diseases and disaster readiness

  • Promote federal policies and appropriate reimbursement designed to assist hospitals in their efforts to prepare and respond effectively to outbreaks of infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical or nuclear attacks