Published: June 28, 2012
Updated: June 28, 2012
Statement from Victor J. Dzau, M.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Duke University Health System
Chancellor for Health Affairs
The U.S. Supreme Court decision today on the Affordable Care Act adds much-needed direction on the issue of health care reform, even as there will likely be ongoing challenges. What is undisputed is that the law’s goals of increasing access to care and lowering costs are imperative, and we absolutely support them. It will now be incumbent on those of us in the health care delivery system to assure that such objectives do not come at the expense of quality, which is an equally important aim.
We are already moving forward on this. Hospitals, health systems, payers and providers have been working to meet the requirements and the goals of the law, and today’s decision will accelerate those efforts. That is a good thing for everybody needing health care. With expanded insurance coverage, more people will have affordable access to routine care through a primary care physician, have a greater ability to focus on prevention and wellness, and avoid utilizing high-cost emergency departments as their medical care.
As a large health care system, we must now concentrate on ways to accommodate the potentially huge demand for primary care providers. We must also continue to focus on innovation, quality and efficiency. While the Supreme Court ruling provides clarity, there remain many unknown factors that will affect how hospitals and doctors oversee care, particularly for the millions who will still not have health coverage despite the law’s mandate.
Such details will take form as the law unfolds, and time will tell how well it is implemented. But I can say with conviction that increased access to high-quality, affordable care is a goal that absolutely must be achieved.