The prospect for significant reform to our nation’s health care sector has never been greater. Are you and your organization ready?

Recent developments are signaling that health care reform is rapidly evolving from a perennial talking point to a near-term legislative priority for President-elect Barack Obama and Congressional leaders. The perception that our current system is broken and that costs are unsustainable is widespread and spans political ideology. Consider that:

  • Only one week after the election, Senator Max Baucus, the leader of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, unveiled a comprehensive health care reform plan. Senator Ted Kennedy and the Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) are currently working on a similar blueprint.
  • The second cabinet secretary nominee named — before even the "Big Three" secretaries of State, Treasury and Defense — was Secretary of Health & Human Services, a position likely to be expanded to encompass leadership on all health policy issues.
  • Health care reform is now being positioned as a key component of, rather than competitor to, broader economic stimulus measures.

While the word "reform" may sound threatening to some, many of the proposals being discussed are not new and some may result in positive outcomes for stakeholder groups. As these proposals take shape and gain momentum, B&D Consulting clients need to know how to recognize the difference between political rhetoric, potential opportunity and realistic threat. When the time comes, will you be proactive and able to distinguish between opportunities and business risk? Will you be in a position to turn a potential negative into a positive for you and your stakeholders?

The only safe bet is that every segment of the health and life sciences sector — from providers and manufacturers to insurers and patients — will be impacted by these reforms, and the landscape in December 2009 will likely be vastly different from that of December 2008.

B&D Consulting’s health and life sciences practice team is engaged with a wide variety of health care stakeholders and is plugged in to the latest developments on Capitol Hill, the administration and regulatory agencies. Our position on the front lines of this debate enables us to provide our clients with timely, well-informed and effective advice and representation.

In this special Health & Life Sciences Outlook report, we provide an initial look at the top priorities and themes in the health care reform debate and suggest some ways in which you can ensure that your interests will be best represented in 2009.