Diverse Coalition Unveils Ideas To Boost Health Care Quality, Cut Costs
An "unlikely" coalition of five health care organizations on Thursday released five recommendations aimed at improving health care quality in the U.S. while reining in costs, Modern Healthcare reports (Block, Modern Healthcare, 4/11).
The coalition -- called the Partnership for Sustainable Health Care -- consists of:
- America's Health Insurance Plans, which lobbies for health insurers;
- Ascension Health, a hospital firm;
- Families USA, a consumer advocacy group;
- The National Coalition on Health Care, a not-for-profit research firm; and
- The Pacific Business Group on Health, a coalition of employers (Appleby, "Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 4/11).
The group developed five "consensus recommendations" focused on the public and private insurance sector:
- Transitioning from a traditional fee-for-service system to one that rewards high-quality patient care;
- Offering patients incentives for choosing providers who deliver high-quality care under a value-based insurance plan (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 4/11);
- Implementing a tiered reimbursement strategy that provides higher payments for services that are proven to be more effective;
- Reducing reimbursements for services considered less effective and that have a lower value compared with other treatments; and
- Creating state-level incentives to improve care, such as a gain-sharing program that would set a health care savings goal in which states that are able to slow spending growth by the designated target would be rewarded with a portion of some of the savings.
In a statement, Ascension Health CEO Robert Henkel said, "To meet America's health care needs, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable, we know that health care providers must fundamentally reconfigure delivery systems, care processes and cost structures" (Modern Healthcare, 4/11).
Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, said, "No single organization working alone, and no single policy approach, will achieve the lower-cost, higher-quality imperative." He added, "Moderating health costs while improving quality of care must be an all-hands-on-deck commitment" ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 4/11).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.