A seat at the table

Sunday, May 31, 2009

WASHINGTON--Invacare’s Mal Mixon had a “seat at the table” on April 8, when a select group of healthcare executives met with a White House official to discuss health care reform.

Nancy-Ann DeParle, the director of the White House Office of Health Reform, led about 30 executives in an over two-hour discussion about how redesigning the delivery model for chronic diseases like diabetes and COPD and other measures can improve care, increase efficiency and save money.

“There were a lot of thoughtful remarks, and I think a lot of them connected to home care,” said Mixon, chairman and CEO of the Elyria, Ohio-based manufacturer, following the discussion.

The discussion was streamed live on www.healthreform.gov and CSPAN.

Mixon had the floor for about five minutes, telling DeParle and the other executives that patients prefer to be in their homes, and thanks to technology, that’s often possible.

“We can now create a hospital room in the home,” he told them.

Mixon also spoke of the lower costs associated with home care.

To have a seat at the table with executives from companies like Medco and UnitedHealth Group proves the homecare industry has come a long way, Mixon said.

“When I think back to the early days - we had no access at all,” he said. “Through a lot of hard work on the part of many, I think we’re finally getting a seat at the table.”