Republicans Come Up With TN Health Plan

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House Republican leaders Thursday unveiled a patient-centered, free market approach to transform healthcare in Tennessee by unveiling the CARE plan.

This legislative package includes eleven different initiatives that will all reshape healthcare in Tennessee through Consumerism, increasing Access, improving Rural health systems, and Empowering patients to ensure individuals and families to make all medical decisions, instead of insurance companies or the government.

The innovative plan will create price transparency and more data on healthcare prices, launch an All-Payer Claims Database that will provide consumers with information to contain costs and improve health system performance through the utilization of local data, eliminate confusion and streamline billing, promote competition, improve drug pricing affordability, utilize telehealth and telemedicine to increase rural healthcare access, recruit innovative healthcare professionals, physicians, and biotech companies to our state, assist families in caring for sick children despite their financial status, explore options to increase access to behavioral health services, and secure block grant funding so Tennessee can create a patient-centered healthcare system to address our unique needs.

These initiatives will increase access and the quality of care available to Tennesseans, while driving down overall costs and protecting all patients -- with or without preexisting conditions.

"Our healthcare crisis was not created overnight. In fact, this is an issue that has been building in cities and towns across our state over the past two decades," said Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin). "This plan is an important first step in addressing the health concerns of all Tennesseans through increased competition and transparency, and once again, it demonstrates Tennessee's ability to lead on an important issue with both local and national implications."

"All Tennesseans are feeling the overwhelming burden of our ongoing healthcare crisis," said State Representative Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville). They have seen rates soar and access decline as their healthcare has been dictated to them by insurance companies. Our approach is to create a system that puts patients and providers in charge and provides important resources that will empower our citizens to make informed decisions so they can address their unique health needs."

"We need a free market healthcare system that will increase competition and ultimately lower overall costs," said House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland). "We must put patients and their providers first. That is why I am excited to support my colleagues in their efforts to transform healthcare in Tennessee through this plan."

"With more and more government and middlemen intrusion into the patient-physician relationship, the "Headache to Healthcare ratio" has continued to rise, leading to barriers to access and out of control costs," said State Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro). "The result has been a shift in the health care model which has unfortunately led to consolidation of services into a more regional model, as opposed to a model that addresses the needs of specific communities. By empowering patients through free market and consumer driven principles, as well as utilizing newer technologies like telemedicine and telehealth, we can work to reverse these trends and improve access and costs across Tennessee."

The CARE Plan will be implemented throughout the duration of the 111th General Assembly.

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