I am returning from the NRHA Health Policy Institute and despite lawsuits, threat of repeal and replace, and a  general lack of reading of the bill by those empowered to make laws before the law was made, the Affordable Care Act is moving into the implementation phase. The Department of Health And Human Services is charged with putting the meat, if you will, on the bones of the law. The Secretary spoke at the Institute and here is what she had to say:

1)  Community Health Centers are going to continue to be emphasized as access points into the health system

2) The health insurance exchanges are important for access. The good news for Alabama is that the Governor is actually down the road a bit on this more so than other states

3) Pay attention to prevention. There is a lot in the ACA on this and all health care personnel should develop a focus on this

4) The law should improve access through strengthening health IT. The efforts by the Office of Rural Development, the AL-Rec and others are important and should pay off

5) The law will facilitate improved care coordination. The CMS Center for Innovation is introducing a lot of resources to assist with such efforts of which Accountable Care Organizations are one such.

These are exciting times.