Delivery System Day: Len Nichols
The Chairman’s mark would create two new entities that could accelerate the delivery system reforms we need. One, a Center for Payment Innovation within the Department of Health and Human Services, is charged with testing, evaluating and expanding new payment models that could align incentives to delivery higher quality and more patient-centered care at lower cost.
The other, an Independent Medicare Commission with high profile members appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, would be charged with making recommendations to ensure that we accomplish cost growth reduction in ways that are consistent with high-quality patient care over time. Those recommendations would not be implemented automatically, but they would take effect fairly quickly after recommendation if Congress did not promulgate equally effective proposals on its own.
The creation of these new health policy players signals a seriousness of purpose about cost growth and quality enhancement that is impressive, especially after all the “rationing” rhetoric and lies were thrown around in town halls by some Republican leaders, and on Fox News and its echo chambers during recess.
One of the themes we're seeing here is that the bill contains a lot of funding provisions to help us innovate and experiment our way out of this mess. That's not a sure bet by any means, but it's worth trying. Hope, as they say, is not a plan. But if you pump it up with enough funding, maybe you can get a plan out of it. And in the meantime, you'll have the excise tax slowly bearing down on the system and making generous plans more expensive, and you'll have the insurance exchanges creating national competition on the coverage side. It's not so much a plan as a lot of plans.
Photo credit: New America Foundation
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