Hospitals revamp lobbying to overcome GOP opposition

The North Carolina Hospital Association has launched a special social media-oriented PR campaign after suffering some unexpected defeats in the state legislature, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

The state's hospitals are under mounting financial pressure from low-cost surgery centers, while a widespread ideological resentment against the Affordable Care Act in the GOP-dominated Legislature often clashes with their agenda.

Their new lobbying approach involves making a direct appeal to the public, rather than only state lawmakers, according to the News & Observer. As a result, the NCHA has recently launched a website, nchealthyhospitals.org, that discusses the financial pressures its members are facing.

"It's been a big shift in philosophy," Adam Linker, an analyst at the North Carolina Health Access Coalition, told the newspaper. "Now (hospitals) are reaching out to the public and saying here's what's happening to us."

Regional and state hospital associations have had to become more aggressive in recent months to advocate their agenda, particularly given recalcitrance among Republican-dominated legislatures to expand Medicaid. The Ohio Hospital Association, for instance recently hired a longtime GOP political operative to fill a newly created senior advocacy position, Columbus Business First reported. The OHA has placed advocacy and government affairs near the top of its current strategic plan, according to Business First.

To learn more:
- read the News & Observer article
- read the Columbus Business First article

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