A new Alliance for Health Reform video features Princeton’s Uwe Reinhardt questioning whether bundling payments for medical services might actually lead to higher – not lower – costs.
"The ACO's, the accountable care organizations, could create local monopolies that could dictate to you what that bundled price would be, and some of us fear that bundled prices might be even more than what the fee-for-service for that bundle would be today. … You really should align all the payers and say, 'Let us jointly negotiate with the ACOs what those bundles should be so that they cannot divide and rule and sort of make us on the buy side weak.'"
A new Alliance for Health Reform video features Sister Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association of the United States addressing the challenges of quickly enrolling millions of Americans for health insurance this fall. Open season begins October 1 of this year, yet she says that up to 85 percent of those who will be newly eligible for Medicaid or for subsidies to buy private insurance in state-based exchanges don't know it. FULL TRANSCRIPT
Jonathan Blum, acting principal deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), addresses the slower growth of Medicare spending over the last few years, and what his agency is doing to try and continue the trend. “There are promising signs that this strategy to change the payment system, to change the payment models, to focus on waste and abuse, is paying off," he said. "We are taking a whole new approach to addressing fraud in the program. Much more data resources, much more on the ground reaction. We have seen dramatic spending declines in areas of spending, such as home health and durable medical supplies that historically fueled lots of the fraud.” FULL TRANSCRIPT
Two Former Medicare Administrators Discuss How to Save the Program
A new Alliance for Health Reform video features two former Medicare administrators -- Gail Wilensky and Bruce Vladeck -- on their ideas about how to save the program.
Ms. Wilensky, who ran Medicare in a Republican administration, argued for increasing the eligibility age of Medicare for future retirees, while still making the program available at age 65 for those who are disabled.
A new Alliance for Health Reform video features Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum, and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, arguing that recent slower spending growth in health care won’t continue.
"We also saw a slowdown in the mid-90s, and we all declared victory and it came right back. I think next year we’ll see a noticeable uptick. There will be lots of new people entering the insurance markets because of the exchanges and the subsidies that come along with them, and those subsidies are very generous. … These are an invitation for people to get coverage and to buy more health care. I think that’ll place a lot of pressure on spending."
Beginning October 1, insurance marketplaces open for enrollment, and millions of people will be eligible to purchase plans. To guide them in the application process, the federal government has invested in programs to train community organizations and hired staff.
The Employer Mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Toolkit, available here, details the ACA’s employer requirements and penalty. It also includes information about the delay in the mandate to 2015, and analysis about its impact on employer-based coverage.
A new Alliance for Health Reform Toolkit summarizes the recent policy debate surrounding the decade-long problem In the last six months, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Ways and Means, and Senate Finance committees all put forth similar bills to repeal and reform the flawed Medicare physician payment formula. Further, with the CBO estimating the cost of repeal at $116.5, the lowest since 2006, many health policy experts are speculating that 2014 is the year that policymakers enact a permanent change to the SGR.
Toolkit: Training the Workforce for a Changing Health System
A new Alliance for Health Reform toolkit addresses concerns about whether newly-trained physicians are adequately prepared for today's evolving health care delivery system. Does training adequately emphasize care coordination, team-based care, costs of care, health information technology, cultural competence and quality improvement? Does it encourage students to practice in a primary care setting?