The work that goes on every day in Oklahoma’s healthcare system is changing people’s lives. Providing free life-saving care to members of underserved communities, developing cutting-edge solutions to better treat complex illnesses, and providing preventative care to keep communities healthy. Such as providing, the work of state nurses impacts thousands of lives every day. , caregivers, and doctors.
We all understand that access to quality healthcare is critical to our quality of life. Similarly, businesses looking to start up or relocate understand the importance of a strong healthcare system. Future employees will not move their families to new locations without knowing they will have access to high quality, affordable care.
In a world where businesses have to compete more than ever to attract talented employees, a strong community health industry is more valuable than ever as states work to attract new businesses and industries. .
Over the past two years, our industry has worked hard to continue this life-changing work despite intense challenges and disruptions. We know that the pandemic has not eliminated the need for liver transplants, chemotherapy, or heart surgery. In fact, the stress of the past two years has often increased the need for non-COVID medical care.
Thankfully we are almost out of the pandemic. But our country faces new challenges, including disruptions in supply he chains, staff shortages and record inflation. These pressures are being felt by families and businesses across Oklahoma, and the healthcare industry is no exception. The costs faced by healthcare providers skyrocketed last year. Pharmaceutical prices have risen more than 35% since 2019, and supply and labor costs have also outpaced inflation.
Overcoming the challenges posed by inflation will be difficult and will require the cooperation of health care providers and health insurers. Together, we can develop systems that coordinate care and manage complex illnesses to keep patients healthy and reduce the overall cost of care. This requires cooperation and investment. No single organization can achieve this.
Healthcare leaders understand the importance of affordable and accessible healthcare to our state, so they work every day to reduce costs. After her two years of thinking more about access to healthcare than ever before, healthcare providers are willing to work with partners who value the state’s healthcare system, a local asset.
Timothy Pehrson is President and CEO of Integris Health.