Massachusetts and the Bold Move
Those of you who read David Osborne's Health column in this month's Governing (Rx for Reform) know he laid out the case for ...
Those of you who read David Osborne's Health column in this month's Governing (Rx for Reform) know he laid out the case for cost savings via the payment process. He wrote about doing away with fee-for-service payments to doctors and hospitals and replacing them with per-patient fees.
Now, his home state of Massachusetts is moving a step closer to putting such a program in place. According to the Boston Globe , a state commission is poised to recommend to the governor and the legislature that insurers radically change how doctors and hospitals are paid. They will recommend that the current system, in which insurers typically pay doctors and hospitals a negotiated fee for each individual procedure or visit, be replaced with a set payment for each patient that covers all that person's care for an entire year.
Variations of such a plan are being discussed for national health reform. Payment reform is seen as one of the more effective ways of taming costs. It could discourage doctors and hospitals from providing unneeded tests and treatments, and it could force the medical community to provide better post-hospital care so that patients who survive, say, heart surgery, aren't readmitted when their condition deteriorates because they didn't understand follow-up instructions.
Massachusetts would be the first state to broadly adopt such a system.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
Will Florida Gay Couples Really Be Able to Marry on January 6?9 hours ago
Somerville, Mass., Will Issue 'Scarlett Letters' for Unshoveled Sidewalks9 hours ago
The Week in Public Finance: Traffic Cam Drama, Retiree Healthcare and Another D.C. Shoutout10 hours ago
Supreme Court Rules Arizona Must Issue Driver's Licenses to Immigrants17 hours ago
The Woman Obama Picked to Improve Police Relationships with the Public17 hours ago
Ferguson's Inequality Fight Moves into the Courtroom17 hours ago