Gov. Wolf announces plan to reform health care throughout Pennsylvania


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Tom Wolf announced on Friday his plan to overhaul the commonwealth’s health care system.

Wolf says this was a long time coming and is highlighted even more by the millions of Pennsylvanians who lost health care following job loss during the pandemic.

In a release provided by the Wolf administration, it says the three main components of the plan include:

  • Interagency Health Reform Council (IHRC), established with an executive order the governor signed at the press conference today. The council will be composed of commonwealth agencies involved in health and the governor’s office. The initial goal will be to develop recommendations by December 30 to find efficiencies in the health care system by thinking about how to align programs where feasible, including the joint purchasing of medications, aligning value-based purchasing models, and using data across state agencies to promote evidence-based decisions.
  • Regional Accountable Health Councils (RAHCs). The Department of Human Services will add requirements to form five RAHCs across the state into the managed care agreements. RAHCs will be required to collectively develop regional transformation plans – built on community needs assessments – to reduce disparities, address social determinants of health, and align value-based purchasing arrangements.
  • Health Value Commission. The governor will work with the legislature to establish the Health Value Commission, charged with keeping all payors and providers accountable for health care cost growth, to provide the long-term affordability and sustainability of our health care system, and to promote whole-person care. As proposed, the newly created entity would be led by up to 15 commissioners appointed by the governor and the General Assembly who have an expertise in the health care marketplace, including five state agency heads.

“I am proposing a health reform package that will make health care more affordable, hold health care corporations accountable and tackle the health inequities resulting from systemic racism,” Wolf said in a release. “True reform means focusing on every aspect of a person that contributes to their health. Even before the pandemic, there were warning signs that Pennsylvania’s health care system wasn’t working for everyone. Many Pennsylvanians found it hard to pay their medical bills due to rising health care costs, including families who have health care coverage and often have to pay higher premiums and more out-of-pocket costs every year.”

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