Strengthening Affordability and Quality in America’s Healthcare System

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May 2nd, 2013
Categories: Health News

The Partnership for Sustainable Healthcare recently released the report, Strengthening Affordability and Quality in America’s Healthcare System.  While healthcare spending has grown at a slow rate in recent years, it is important to transform our health system into a long-term affordable and high quality system.

affordability quality healthcareThe partnership envisions a healthcare system that is high performing, accountable and coordinated, with improved patient satisfaction and overall public health while reducing the cost of care.  More specifically, their vision covers these seven points:

  1. Healthcare that is affordable and financially sustainable for consumers, purchasers, and taxpayers.
  2. Patients who are informed, empowered and engaged in their care.
  3. Patient care that is evidence-based and safe.
  4. A delivery system that is accountable for health outcomes and resource use.
  5. An environment that fosters a culture of continuous improvement and learning.
  6. Innovations that are evaluated for effectiveness before being widely and rapidly adopted.
  7. Reliable information that can be used to monitor quality, cost, and population health.

The report offers five (5) key recommendations to meet the partnership’s vision for transforming our healthcare system.

  1. Transforming the current payment paradigm

    Transitioning away from the current fee-for-service payment system is key to achieving high-quality, affordable care.  Accelerated adoption of payment models that improve value and costs is encouraged. Payment models like bundled payments, accountable care organizations, and global payments incorporate incentives to improve value and lower cost.

  2. Paying for care that is proven to work

    Payments for less effective and less valuable services should be lower than services proven to be more effective. No difference in payment amounts between varying levels of quality in services results in overuse of ineffective and costly services, and underutilization of more effective and cost-conscious services.

  3. Incentivize consumer engagement in care

    Tiered cost-sharing as financial incentives for consumers to better utilize care choices leads to cost savings. Better utilization is tied to improved adherence to preventative measures and evidence-based care.

  4. Improve the infrastructure needed for an effective healthcare market

    It is important to strengthen and simplify the foundational infrastructure of our healthcare system to support cost and quality improvements to facilitate long term change.

  5. Incentivize states to partner with public and private stakeholders to transform the healthcare system

    Implement a gain-sharing system to enable states to receive financial bonuses for fulfilling cost and quality goals.

To read the full report, please click here.

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