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Virginia secretary of Health and Human Resources Addresses Health Care Reform

Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011

Secretary Hazel and Dr. PandyaVirginia secretary of Health and Human Resources Addresses Health Care Reform

Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel spoke Wednesday, July 20, 2011 in Danville at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research on the effect of the federal health reform law on employers, employees and providers.

“The health care reform act is now law, and this will change the delivery of care and the economics associated with it,” said Dr. Bhushan Pandya, chairman of the board of directors for Gateway Health and a gastroenterologist at the Danville Gastroenterology Center. “Dr. Hazel is working hard to prepare the commonwealth to comply with the new law. He has a unique perspective in this regard.”

 Under the new law, each state must begin operating a health insurance exchange in 2014 that allows individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurancefrom various carriers.

Hazel addressed the steps being taken by his office for implementing health care reform. In May 2010, he launched a statewide initiative to address not only federal health reform, but “also pursue reforms to ensure a safe, effective, and high quality health care delivery system while reducing costs. 

“The initiative will promote innovation, quality and cost-effectiveness within Virginia's health care delivery system and seek to reduce the regulatory burden on all Virginians," Hazel said.

Hazel is an orthopedic surgeon from northern Virginia, where he started a solo private practice that grew into an organization that employs 41 physicians in 11 locations, two surgerycenters and seven physical-therapy clinics. He is a former presidentof the Medical Society of Virginia and the Fairfax County Medical Societyand once was a team physicianfor the Washington Redskins. He has served on the board of trustees of the American Medical Association.

As secretary of Health and Human Resources, Hazel oversees the state’s vast network of medical and social services. He was appointed to lead the department in January 2010 by then Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell.

More than 100 individuals were in attendance.

The event was sponsored by the Danville Pittsylvania Academy of Medicine, Danville Regional Medical Center, Gateway Health and the city of Danville.