Like burdensome regulations, rising health care costs consistently rank among the top concerns for our members and others in the business community, regardless of industry. Unfortunately, North Carolina currently lags far behind many other states in this important area. In 2015, the United Health Foundation ranked our state’s health care climate in the bottom half of the nation, at 31st overall. If you attended our recent Health Care Conference, however, you know that the NC Chamber and NC Chamber Foundation are committed to leading a collaborative, employer-driven effort to make North Carolina a top ten state for health and health care value.
According to the U.S. Chamber Foundation-produced handbook, Health Means Business, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that every year U.S. employers lose around $1,700 per employee due to health problems that could be avoided. Many job creators feel that this is one area where we have little or no ability to change the outcome. But here at the NC Chamber, we don’t quite see it that way. We believe we can make North Carolina a top ten state for health and health care value. How? With employers and other stakeholders along the health care supply chain working together to provide the comprehensive solutions to the challenges facing our state’s health care system, and toward a shared system for defining health care value here in North Carolina.
When we asked attendees at our Health Care Conference to pledge their support to these efforts, we were encouraged by the more than 50 positive responses we received from the business community and other stakeholders. But we need more NC Chamber members to become engaged in order to continue taking this collaborative process to the next level. Moving forward, the next step toward achieving our strategic goal will be to develop a business plan that thoroughly defines a specific set of goals at the tactical level and outlines a clear plan to help us accomplish them. Items that will need to be further refined include: who will be involved, how will we define success, what will our funding sources be, and a number of other important considerations.
Our state’s health care challenges will only continue to get worse if those in a position to do something about it refuse to take on this vital responsibility. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? Click here to find out how you can get involved in this important employer-driven initiative today and help bridge the health care value gap in North Carolina.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber