Leavitt Promotes Four Cornerstones Plan
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt on Friday said that by spring 2007 he expects 60% of U.S. employees to commit to the "four cornerstones" plan for the purchase of health insurance outlined by President Bush, CongressDaily reports.
In a speech at the Business Roundtable National Summit on Health Care Transparency, Leavitt said that HHS initially targeted the top 200 U.S. employers but will begin to target all employers. The four cornerstones plan, first outlined by President Bush in an August executive order, calls for employers to prioritize four criteria when they purchase health insurance: interoperable health care information technology; reporting of quality of care measures; reporting of health care price information; and incentives for high-quality, cost-effective care (CongressDaily, 11/17).
The executive order applies to all U.S. employers that conduct business with Medicare, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
About 30 health care systems to date have certified the four cornerstones plan, Leavitt said, adding that he hopes to have "scores of the largest companies committed" to the plan by the end of 2006.
The American Benefits Council, the National Retail Federation and the Leapfrog Group said that they support the four cornerstones plan (Hopkins, CQ HealthBeat, 11/17).