Last month — after Missouri’s Aug. 2 primary — I wrote about the upcoming election’s importance for our health care system. In that column I provided five questions that health care advocates could ask candidates this fall. In addition, I promised to share more when the campaign season began in earnest.
Monday is Labor Day, the unofficial kick-off of the general election season. In just 10 weeks, voters will go to the polls. It’s the beginning of the end — well, at least chronologically. Now I want to provide an update on MHA’s plan.
To help voters identify the candidates and understand the issues, MHA has launched the “Your Vote Matters” campaign on Missouri Health Matters. The site links to voter registration information and ballot issues through the Missouri Secretary of State’s website. We’ve also provided links to gubernatorial candidate websites and other helpful information. The resources are growing daily.
MHA recently submitted a gubernatorial candidate questionnaire to Republican Eric Greitens and Democrat Chris Koster to provide them space to illuminate their positions on health care. We have requested their answers by Sept. 8. When they arrive, we will post them verbatim on the site.
This isn’t all we are doing. Earlier this year, MHA embarked on a campaign to share hospitals’ stories through the “H” image. The goal was to build on the strong connection between the state’s hospitals and the communities they serve. The effort is ongoing; the results have been amazing. Between the existing Missouri Health Matters efforts and the H campaign, we’ve broadened our advocacy database by tens of thousands of supporters and more than doubled our social media followers. For example, between Aug. 24 and Aug. 30, more than 800,000 individuals were reached by H campaign messages on Facebook. There’s more. Are you familiar with those annoying online videos that you can click “skip now” after a few seconds? Our viewers aren’t skipping. H campaign videos are watched all the way through nearly 90 percent of the time.
Elections are about choices. The 150,000 employees serving in hospitals and the countless members of our communities who rely on and take pride in their hospitals must understand where the candidates who seek office stand on health care. Between Labor Day and the election, we’re focused on helping get them that information.
I encourage hospitals to add the “Your Vote Matters” logo to websites and share our messages in social media. Resources are available for hospitals to use throughout the next 10 weeks, including the logo and sample social media messages. New information will be on our Missouri Health Matters Facebook page and Twitter feed daily.
As the election draws closer and advertising testier, it will be increasingly difficult for Missourians to make heads or tails of candidates’ positions on the issues. We will be in the “honest broker” space with information — including some in the candidates’ own words. That’s where we want to be as we move into 2017.
Happy Labor Day. Let me know what you’re thinking.
In This Issue
Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO
MHA Comments on Proposed Medicare OPPS-ASC Regulations
CMS Announces eCQM Receiving System Production File Acceptance Dates
CMS Releases EHR Incentive Program Fact Sheet