March 23, 2012
A Solid Triple

In case you have any friends who are opposed to Obama’s health care plan but amenable to reason — admittedly a tiny demographic — you might direct them to this article by Sarah Kliff in The Washington Post.

Two-and-a-half years later, Baptists’ surgeons have earned more than $950,000 in bonuses. Medicare, meanwhile, has netted savings: Its bundled rate is about 5 percent lower than all the fees it used to pay out for the same services. “It wasn’t a home-run,” says Zucker, noting the start-up costs in administering the program — not to mention a handful of lost employees. “But I’d call it a solid triple…”

Although it’s not fully implemented, some say the Affordable Care Act has already significantly catalyzed the health-care system. Leaders know where Medicare wants to go, even if they didn’t chart an especially aggressive path for how it would get there. “Forever and a day, everybody had been saying we had to change the way we paid for health care,” Roades says. “Now, we have a sense of direction of where the country’s biggest payer is headed. And that provides cover for everybody else to move in that direction…”

But the system, he says, is shifting away from it. “The goal, quite simply, is to improve our quality metrics and bring down per-capita costs,” Blum continued. “That’s going to be the ultimate success.” When Baptist Health Systems started down this path in 2008, it had little idea where it would lead or whether the doctors would revolt. Now that 78 percent of his doctors have received bonus checks, Zucker is more confident.



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at March 23, 2012 10:00 AM
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