Newtown, CT – September 30, 2011
Our third-quarter newsletter comes out at an important time in the transformation of the U.S. health care system – A few weeks ago, CMS' Innovation Center launched the boldest and broadest pilot program in the agency's history. Hospitals, physicians, health plans, and coalitions around the country have a unique opportunity to prove that they are willing to walk the walk. Delivering high-value health care is on billboards and in speeches, but seems rather elusive when we examine cost trends and actual behaviors. And yet, as several articles in this issue show, physicians and hospitals across the country have been actively transforming themselves to deliver real value. Coalitions have been bringing stakeholders together to agree on the essential importance of affordable health care in communities. And our emerging work with the Aligning Forces for Quality sites will focus specifically on helping them better understand how value is being delivered and how to create stronger incentives for hospitals and physicians who deliver it. The operational solutions for plans are now moving in place thanks to MedAssets and TriZetto.
What this means to you – In a little over a month, applications are due to CMS for the bundled payment pilot. Our board chair and renowned health care lawyer, Alice Gosfield, pens a memo on the types or organizations that can apply to the pilot. Two other board members, Robert Liebenluft and Bruce Bagley, offer their perspectives on challenges ahead for all providers engaged in care transformation. It's clear that the road ahead is filled with unknowns, but at least there's a solid chance it will be better than what's behind us.
Francois de Brantes
Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc.