Dec 1, 2010

Will "Global Payments" Help or Hurt Patient Care?

The mid-term elections are over; the 2011 legislative session is on the doorstep; and the policy wonks and MA political junkies are salivating in anticipation of possible legislation on payment reform -- the final frontier in health care reform.

Countless hours have been spent in ballrooms discussing the nuances, implications and nitty-gritty of payment reform, and this week was no different.  The Boston Globe covered the most recent gathering -- the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum.  The article is worth the two-minutes to read to hear multiple opinions on the topic. More importantly, you should note that nearly every "stakeholder" is quoted including a hospital executive, an insurance executive, the office of HHS, a professor of health policy, and a patient advocacy group. 

Who's missing? ... a practicing physician ... again. This seems to be the theme of these efforts: Bring everyone into the discussion except those most critical cog in the entire system. Hopefully that will change soon.

Best Quote from the Article: "The autonomy of decision-making is going to be diminished on an individual level’’ and moved to teams." - Gary Gottlieb, MD; CEO, Partners HealthCare, Inc.

Response to Quote Question: Who will be responsible for making care decision with patients when health care is a "team" (aka committee) effort?

Poll: Will "global payments" compromise patient care?