Business Roundtable Backs Some Health Care Reform Provisions
Democrats scored a victory Thursday when a major business group issued a report endorsing some provisions of health care reform legislation in Congress, CQ HealthBeat reports.
The report from the Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs from major U.S. companies, said that certain provisions in the bills under consideration by Congress would yield savings for businesses. Those proposals would help reduce health costs by 15% to 20% by 2019, according to the study.
The report, written by Illinois-based consultant Hewitt Associates, endorsed several proposals, including:
- Value-based purchasing, in which payment rates would be based on quality measures;
- Innovation centers to experiment with alternate methods of provider reimbursement;
- Accountable care organizations;
- Bundling, in which providers are paid a lump sum for treating a single condition;
- Financial penalties for avoidable hospital readmissions (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 11/12); and
- Comparative effectiveness research.
According to the report, without changes to the current health care system, costs would increase to $28,530 per employee. It added that the "right legislative reforms" would reduce costs by more than $3,000 per employee.
The study was greeted with enthusiasm by both President Obama and Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Obama said that the report underscores the point that health reform "is one of the most important investments we can make in American competitiveness."
The Business Roundtable stopped short of endorsing either the House or Senate legislation, and it opposes a public option.
The report also found that current reform bills are "missing some ingredients" to permanently curb future cost increases (Yoest, Wall Street Journal, 11/12). It also warned that the legislation would fail if Congress is unable to pass a strong individual insurance mandate and curb the practice of "defensive medicine" (CQ HealthBeat, 11/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.