Monday, December 22, 2014

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The Berkshires

Health care forum discusses industry goals

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Albany/HV: Health care forum discusses industry goals
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The president's executive orders become part of a discussion among local health care providers about where the industry is today and where it's going. It's a timely forum considering the ongoing conversation about the issue of mental health treatment and guns. Our Erin Vannella reports.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- "For any of us who practice medicine or who run health care systems, this is a huge topic," said St. Peter's Health Partners President and CEO Dr. James Reed.

Hours after the president released a list of 23 executive orders to reduce gun violence, eight of which address health care or mental health specifically, local health care providers talked about industry objectives.

"If we're going to make progress in this and really do true health care reform locally, we've got to get the health care leaders as well as the business community and government and academia talking together," said CDPHP President and CEO Dr. John Bennett.

"The first thing is we want to clarify and have a coordinated approach among all providers," said Reed. "And a lot of that guidance comes from the department of health and other regulatory agencies."

One executive order announced Wednesday declares the Affordable Care Act won't prohibit doctors from asking patients about guns at home. Another reminds health care providers no law prevents them from reporting violent threats to police. But how does those ideas get implemented?

"Often when it gets down to the specific actions that have to be taken by the health systems and physicians and we work on the practical aspects of that. There's a little bit of discussion as to what we really can do and what an information system can do to get the information to somebody," said Reed.

Doctors say they're already in motion and agree with little debate a dialogue is necessary locally and nationally to help address the issues of mental health related to gun violence. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP