Ward earns national health care reform award

State Sen. Cam Ward recently earned an award from the Foundation for Government Accountability. (File)

State Sen. Cam Ward recently earned an award from the Foundation for Government Accountability. (File)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTGOMERY – State Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, was presented last week with the Foundation for Government Accountability’s 2016 “Friend of Government Accountability Award” for sponsoring the Alabama Right to Shop Act to reward patients who utilize high-value health care options.

Ward is looking to help American patients play a larger role in the health care services they consume while rewarding them for using options that are cost effective. With a shared savings structure, Senate Bill 116, which died in committee during the Legislature’s 2016 regular session, would have encouraged patients to fully explore their health care service options and reimbursed them when they chose cost efficient services.

“Our health care system is in dire need of reform, and that’s why it’s so important policymakers seek out and support innovative and proven options like Right to Shop, and continue to push for their passage until they cross the finish line,” said Tarren Bragdon, CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability.

“It is a honor to receive this award and I look forward to continuing the effort to empower patients with choice in our healthcare system,” Ward said.

A similar program to the one sponsored by Ward helped save the state of New Hampshire $10 million through their employee health plan. The employees have enjoyed nearly $2 million in reward payments.

“Leaders like Sen. Ward understand the transformative power of reinserting market forces and incentives back into our health care system, where programs like this can finally deliver lower costs and higher patient satisfaction,” Bragdon said.

Ward is one of a handful of state leaders from around the country being recognized with the annual award for their efforts to transform health care in 2016.