Getting to Better Care: Be My Payment Reform Valentine Edition

Campaign for Better CareThe Campaign for Better Care, the public voice in the payment reform debate, is eagerly waiting for the Governor’s payment reform plan, expected Thursday.

We’re also still glowing from last Friday’s “Patient Empowerment: More Than A Slogan” conference last Friday (see WBUR’s CommonHealth report). The morning highlighted the need to ‘meet patients where they are’ and build patient confidence. The event also demystified the amorphous phrase “patient empowerment” by showing that it is something real. In order for payment reform to succeed, we need to empower patients and Friday’s event showed us some tools to get there. The program and discussion strengthened our belief that patient confidence is the key metric in assessing patient-centered care, and ought to be connected to the payment system. We strongly encourage everyone to try out the patient engagement tool from HowsYourHealth.org. On the second screen, enter the code ZKS507, which will allow us to aggregate and report on all the people filling out the survey based on our event.

In this latest news update, we bring you interesting developments from Vermont to Texas regarding payment reform, and our own patient empowerment event from last week. Read on for more news:

  • As accountable care organizations will become the chief ingredient in payment reform, analysts explain that informed patients and transparency within the ACO’s will be essential to their success in the fight to control costs. Read one doctor’s prescription in the NY Times for the missing ingredient in accountable care – the patients.
  • In Texas, the legislature strives to create a variety of outcomes-based health initiatives in efforts to cut back on health care costs, however some legislators disagree with these programs and the 2012-2013 budget may be incapable of supporting such initiatives. Read more about the Lone Star primary care conundrum.
  • The Boston Globe ran a good summary of the benefits to patients of more coordinated and higher quality care through a global payments system that puts doctors on set budgets to care for patients.
  • This past Monday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin proposed a bill that would eliminate most private forms of insurance, taking advantage of the federal assistance that will kick in during 2014, yet leaving out details of how the plan would be funded. Read more about Vermont’s proposed single-payer health care system.
  • We also liked CommonHealth’s report on a new study found that storytelling has the ability to measurably improve the health of some patients. Read more about the health benefits of storytelling.

-Courtney Mulroy

About HCFA

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