What healthcare leaders need to know now

 

Helen Darling: A strong voice for employers in the healthcare debate

By | June 10th, 2013 | Blog | Add A Comment

 

Helen Darling: “All you have to do is look at every report written concerning the national debt or the annual deficit and see that healthcare is the driver.”

 

One in a series of profiles of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Women in Healthcare (sponsored by Furst Group)

 

The healthcare industry is undergoing major changes, but Helen Darling says the providers and payers who comprise much of the industry aren’t doing enough to control costs and improve quality. Her words carry a lot of weight – she’s the president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, which represents many of the large employers in the U.S. Darling says her membership would like to see big improvements in safety, quality and costs, but have doubts about whether that could actually happen in an industry with limited competition.

 

“With our healthcare system, there are no countervailing forces that will essentially force organizations to reduce costs and improve quality and safety,” she says. “We saw very little attention paid to patient safety until the federal government took this tiny amount of money and said, ‘We’re going to hold this back if you don’t meet certain Partnership for Patients goals.’ And that did get people’s attention, but that’s what it took.”

 

Darling’s non-profit organization represents many Fortune 500 and other large companies, serving as a united voice on healthcare policy and offering solutions to healthcare issues in the marketplace. She says her membership is concerned about where healthcare is headed.

 

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