Philly-area companies band together for better health care

    Area doctors have a society; there’s a group to represent the interests of hospitals; even public health researchers have an association.

    Now, Philadelphia companies can join the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health.

    Founding members include Wawa, Comcast and AstraZeneca, according to coalition executive director Neil Goldfarb.

    “We’re all interested in the same things — of delivering high-quality care, having good outcomes, not wasting funds on unnecessary services,” Goldfarb said.

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    One of the first goals is to get Philadelphia hospitals to share more information on patient safety and medical errors, and then make that information available to employers and the public.

    Goldfarb summed up the coalition’s message this way: “We’re the customer, we would like to know how you are doing on delivering these safe practices, and in future years if you are not reporting we may steer some business away from you, or may start to pay bonuses to those hospitals who are participating and meeting the safety standards.”

    The coalition is a chance for the region’s businesses to speak with “one voice,” he said.

    Goldfarb pitched the idea after a long career as a researcher at Thomas Jefferson University and in health-care management.

    Depending on their company size, coalition members will pay dues from about $2,500 to $10,000.

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