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Randy Tobler, MD, FACOG, Chief Executive Officer of Scotland County Hospital & Clinics in Memphis, testified in Jefferson City before the Sub Committee on Health Care Reform. The Missouri Hospital Association invited Tobler to testify on behalf of Missouri’s hospitals – to provide perspective as both a physician and hospital CEO about the challenges and opportunities for state policymakers as they review the state’s health care system.

Comprised of five of the 19 members of the House of Representatives’ Health and Mental Health Policy Committee, the subcommittee was formed to take a more focused look at several aspects of health care delivery and reform.  Rep. Steve Helms, a Republican from Springfield, Mo., chairs the subcommittee.

In meeting with members of the subcommittee, Tobler stressed the importance of working as partners to remove unnecessary and burdensome regulations, adequately funding health services and seizing opportunities for innovation to improve individual and community health statewide.

“The main goal of my testimony was explaining the complexities of the health care system and what role state policymakers have in hospitals’ ability to deliver services,” Tobler said. “To increase the value of the care hospitals deliver – including rural hospitals – we need to have room to innovate.  The goal is to move from a system of care to a system of health, but the rules aren’t always built to move in that direction. State policy, and better cooperation between hospitals, insurers and patients, will be required to reduce costs and increase value.”

Scotland County Hospital is a member of the Missouri Hospital Association.  The association’s goal is to support policies that forge a strong, vital and sustainable health care system in Missouri.

Rob Monsees, MHA Vice President of Legislative Affairs, helped facilitate Tobler’s meeting with lawmakers.

“It’s essential that lawmakers hear how the policies they enact in Jefferson City affect how caregivers deliver services in hospitals throughout the state,” Monsees said. “Lawmakers often talk about how much health care costs, but focus less often on the value created. There is tremendous opportunity to reimagine the system. Hospitals support their communities economically, directly and indirectly, and are important to sustaining a healthy community.”

Tobler focused his discussions on the need for systemic reform to strengthen the relationship between clinicians and patients. He noted the challenges that regulations and bureaucracy often present in the patient and provider relationship, and underscored the need to innovate within the health care delivery and financing models to deliver healthier patients and lower costs.

“Dr. Tobler’s testimony will help lawmaker’s understand the scope of the challenge and how it translates to care in the community and at the hospital bedside,” Monsees said. “We appreciate him lending his voice on these issues as a spokesperson for the state’s hospitals.”