Delivery System Day: David Cutler
David Cutler is Dean of the Social Sciences and Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University, which, you'll have to admit, is pretty impressive. He was also one of the Obama campaign's most influential health-care policy advisers. The key, he says, is the experimentation with better models for coordinated care that's funded and encouraged in the bill.
[Max Baucus's] chairman’s mark has a little noticed but very important provision to establish a Chronic Care Management Innovation Center at CMS. The Center, funded at $1 billion per year, would experiment with different ways to encourage evidence-based, coordinated care. Reforms that improve quality and reduce costs could be expanded nationally without further legislation.
Improved chronic care management is a key part of necessary reform. It is what will turn the dream of prevention into a reality, improving health and saving money. Further, the idea of experimentation is exactly right. We don’t know all the steps to take in reform. But we have a number of ideas. Those ideas should be tested, refined, and then expanded or dropped as appropriate. The chronic care management center is a model for how payment reform might work as a whole.
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