Health Care Reform: Mayo Clinic earning praise
Five days into life with his new liver, Jeffrey Rowe was sore but looking forward to being discharged from Mayo Clinic Florida. Just one thing stood in his way: a biopsy to check whether his immune system was attacking his new organ.
No need, his doctor said.
Before nixing the procedure, transplant hepatologist Jaime Aranda-Michel met with 16 other Mayo staff members - including surgeons, physical therapists, dietitians and social workers - assigned to Rowe's case.
"If things improve, we don't have to" perform a biopsy, Aranda-Michel said. "It's not absolutely necessary."
If more hospitals operated this way - encouraging doctors to work together and paying them for the quality of care they provide rather than the quantity - health care in America would cost a lot less and produce better results, President Barack Obama says. He and other reform advocates have singled out the Mayo Clinic in recent months as a role model for other providers.
"We should ask why places like the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and other institutions can offer the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm," Obama said in a letter to key Senate leaders in June. "We need to learn from their successes and replicate those best practices across our country."
Florida's lower reimbursement rates largely account for the difference between the two sites. But overall, the lower bills are driven by keeping health care as efficient as possible, said Stephen Lange, head of Mayo Clinic Florida's clinical practice committee.
"What they pay for today is more tests, more procedures and more trips to the hospital," said Jeffrey Korsmo, executive director of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center.
Florida Times-Union by Jeremy Cox, 08/25/2009
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