The Upper Peninsula Health Care Network kicked off their two day Trustee Forum earlier this afternoon.
The topic of health care reform, a focal point of the convention, involved a detailed discussion on new products and programs the state would like to implement over the next few years. Although state officials spearheaded the conversation, collaboration was the driving force.
“We spend about $582 million on a variety of services in the Upper Peninsula; from public health, to mental health, to Medicaid, to aging services, to crime victims programs. Because of that, it’s important that we come and listen, and see what the priorities are and what people would like to tell us what they would like to do in the future up here in the Upper Peninsula,” remarked James K. Haveman, the Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health.
Trustees from hospitals throughout the area detailed plans on how to expand coverage for residents, how to integrate physical health, behavioral health, and long-term care into one program, and what the new Health Care Reform Law means for the community.
“Seventy percent of our healthcare costs in the United States are due to chronic conditions, and much of that is personal choice. If we can get a handle on chronic illness and we can start paying attention to our behavior and personal responsibility, we can make a big difference in our health care costs and contain health care costs. People will live longer, be healthier, and they’ll be happier,” Haveman reiterated.
Talks on what will happen over the next two to three years in the health care community will continue tomorrow.