September 24: Health Care Reform News

Posted on September 24th, 2009 by Kelley Luckstein

To fix U.S. healthcare, focus on value, experts say

The secret to fixing healthcare in the United States is to focus on value, a measure that takes into account both quality and cost, says Dr. Denis Cortese, president of the Mayo Clinic.

 

The Rochester, Minnesota-based network of clinics is being held up by President Barack Obama and health policy experts as a potential model for healthcare reform, in part because it offers good care at a fair price.

 

In a commentary on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, Cortese says under the U.S. healthcare system the country spends more than any other but the results are uneven at best.

 

Reuters by Julie Steenhuysen, 09/23/09

 

Health care bill now includes 'value of care' language

The health reform bill in the U.S. Senate Finance Committee now includes a proposal by Sen. Amy Klobuchar to "reward the value of care, instead of volume."

 

Rewarding value has been Mayo Clinic's top priority in health care reform.

 

"I think it's a win for high-value health care everywhere in the country," said Josh Derr, manager of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center.

 

Post-Bulletin by Jeff Hansel, 09/23/09

 

Additional Mayo Clinic health care reform coverage:

NEJM

Talk Radio News Service

Post-Bulletin

Taking Note Blog – Maggie Mahar

National Post

 

 

TOP STORIES

Medicare Is Focus on Day 2 of Health Care Negotiations

The Washington Post

Sept. 24, 2009

 

On the second day of work on legislation intended to overhaul the U.S. health care system, the Senate Finance Committee wrestled with politically volatile proposals to squeeze money out of Medicare.

 

Panel’s Battles on Health Highlight a Broader Split

New York Times

Sept. 24, 2009

 

Senate Democrats swatted down Republican attempts to make fundamental changes as the Finance Committee voted on amendments that highlighted the deep partisan divide over the bill.

 

Compromising on Health Care

The New York Times

September 24, 2009

Why can’t the Democrats and the Republicans find common ground on such an important issue?

Democrats Close Ranks to Defend Health Bill’s Cuts

The Wall Street Journal

September 24, 2009

 

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee closed ranks Wednesday in the face of Republican attacks over proposed Medicare cuts at the heart of health care legislation.

 

 

TRANSPARENCY/SAFETY

$1 in $3 in Health Spending Goes to Clinical Waste

Healthpopuli

September 24, 2009

 

The New England Healthcare Institute shines a light on hundreds of studies which illustrate standards of care that, together, could eliminate the 30% of health spending that is clinically wasteful and often deleterious to Americans' health

 

MEDICARE/MEDICAID

Senator Tries to Allay Fears on Health Overhaul

The New York Times
Sept. 23, 2009

 

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida is trying to block a potential cut in Medicare Advantage benefits for older Americans.

 

 

REFORM EFFORTS

Rahm Emanuel:  Health Care Will Pass by Thanksgiving

The Washington Examiner

September 24, 2009

 

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel says a national health care bill will be passed by both houses of Congress "before the members go home for Thanksgiving."

 

A New Way to Pay Physicians

The New York Times

Sept. 24, 2009

An interview with Dr. John C. Lewin, chief executive of the American College of Cardiology, has met with administration officials and members of Congressional about ways to revise pay incentives for doctors.

Modified Baucus Bill Ads Value, Quality to Physician Payment Equation
HealthLeaders Media
Sept. 24, 2009

Value over volume would come into play under a new Medicare physician payment system modification inserted into the Senate Finance Committee's health care reform bill this week. Under the proposed physician payment change, backed by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D WA), physician or physician groups could receive bonus payments based on the relative quality of care they achieve while treating patients under the Medicare program.

 

Mandate Minus Price Controls May Increase Health Care Costs

The Los Angeles Times
Sept. 24, 2009

 

With lawmakers reluctant to limit what insurers may charge, there’s little to slow soaring premiums.  Coupled with millions of new customers, that adds up to higher costs for tax payers and consumers.

 

Health Expense Accounts Could Face Cuts

USA Today
Sept. 23, 2009

 

The health care bill proposed by the Senate Finance Committee would pare tax-free health expense accounts.

 

Why Americans Reject Health Care Rationing

Newsweek

September 24, 2009

The major obstacle to adopting evidence-based treatment guidelines may be patients, and Newsweek offers the example of a four-year-old with minor head trauma to illustrate the point.

New England Journal of Medicine Articles on Reform

 

A series of articles on reform:

Putting U.S. Health Care on the Right Track, Denis A. Cortese, M.D., and Jeffrey O. Korsmo, M.S.
Doctors as the Key to Health Care Reform, A.S. Relman
Poor Substitutes — Why Cooperatives and Triggers Can’t Achieve the Goals of a Public Option, Jacob S. Hacker, Ph.D
21st-Century Health Care — The Case for Integrated Delivery Systems, Francis J. Crosson, M.D.
Baucus's Bill and the Long Road to Reform, J.K. Iglehart

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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