May 1, 2017 Media

Letter to President Trump

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Thomas Price
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201

May 2, 2017

Dear Mr. President and Mr. Secretary,

As representatives of America’s largest employers, the DRIVE Health Initiative urges you to promote value-based care policies to not only improve health care and lower costs, but also as a strategy to free up resources to promote job creation and fund national priorities. We request a meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss efforts your administration can undertake immediately to save significant taxpayer dollars as well as improve the health of millions of Americans.

America spends far more than any other country on health care, but our outcomes are below average compared to other developed countries on key health care indicators. One-third of all health care spending ($1 trillion every year, representing nearly 6% of our national GDP) is spent on wasteful, unnecessary patient care. Health care spending outpaces GDP and inflation growth, sapping America’s economic health. In particular:

  • Businesses are forced to redirect resources away from job creation and investments in infrastructure and innovation.
  • Patients find health care unaffordable and have no objective way to know if they are getting the best care.
  • Providers are not being recognized or rewarded for providing optimal care for their patients.
  • Policymakers are forced to siphon resources away from key national priorities such as tax relief, infrastructure, research and innovation, education, and national security.

The key to fixing the health care system is evidence-based purchasing strategies. The current misalignment in spending and outcomes can be alleviated with market-based strategies such as appropriate financial incentives, competition, information transparency and consumer engagement – key principles of value-based care. Short of curing diseases outright, value-based care provides the greatest opportunity to curb health care costs.

To revitalize the economy, we must work together as private and public purchasers to break down systemic barriers that prevent health care from acting like an effective and rational market. In this spirit of cooperation, today we launch the DRIVE Health Initiative – a campaign aimed at accelerating our country’s transition to value-based health care through targeted deregulation and evidence-based purchasing strategies.

Unless the government acts to eliminate policy barriers and leverage its influence as the largest single purchaser of health care, the intentions and efforts of patients, providers and private purchasers to operate under the market principles of free and informed choice will continue to be inhibited. To break down value-based care barriers, we developed a Policy Blueprint to guide administrative and congressional action focused on the following market-based elements:

Consumer Engagement and Appropriate Financial Incentives, including smarter use of Health Savings Accounts in High Deductible Health Plans; lower cost-sharing for high-value chronic care management services; and more flexible use of value-based care for Medicare beneficiaries.

Alternative Provider Payment Models, including prospectively-set payments for comprehensive bundles; larger financial incentives for providers accepting two-sided financial risk; strong financial incentives for hospitals to provide high-quality care, including the reduction of avoidable readmissions and hospital-acquired conditions; prospective enrollment in Medicare Accountable Care Organizations; and wider use of telehealth services.

Transparency and Performance Measures, including stronger requirements for standardized measures of clinical outcomes, patient-reported outcomes and patient experience; creation of aggregated databases that pool data from various sources, including clinical data from providers and hospitals as well as insurance claims data; and stronger interoperability requirements for electronic medical records and patient-generated data.

We know you have a strong interest in real world market-based solutions. Many of the large employers we represent have developed successful strategies for controlling health care costs and improving quality. These strategies include innovations in provider payment, delivery system improvement, and consumer engagement. We respectfully request a meeting with you to share our experience and offer you an array of action items that can be implemented without delay to begin saving money and improving care.

The DRIVE Health Initiative is here to work with you to re-energize America’s economy by achieving an efficient and value-based health care system. We look forward to speaking with you.


The DRIVE Health Initiative



David Lansky, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Pacific Business Group on Health
575 Market Street, Suite 600
San Francisco CA, 94105



Annette Guarisco Fildes
President and Chief Executive Officer
The ERISA Industry Committee
1400 L Street, Suite 350
Washington, D.C. 20005