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Health Affairs Event: Medicare Savings Ideas For The Super Committee



October 13th, 2011
by Chris Fleming

The congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has been charged with finding ways to decrease federal budget deficits by at least $1.2 trillion between fiscal 2012 and 2021. There is broad recognition among policy makers that savings in Medicare should be part of the solution. 

Happily, there are measures that would not only save money, but would also improve patient care.

On October 19, Health Affairs, along with co-sponsors the ABIM Foundation, the California HealthCare Foundation and the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, will present ideas endorsed by leading physicians for Saving Money and Improving Patient Care in Medicare.

 WHEN:                  Wednesday, October 19, 2011

                                 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

WHERE:                Capital Hilton

                                 1001 16th Street, NW, corner of K Street (Farragut North Metro)

                                 Washington, DC

RSVP:                    Register Now!

The ideas to be discussed at the event include the following:
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  • Allowing Medicare to make better coverage decisions that will contribute to improved health outcomes for beneficiaries.
  • Discouraging the provision of unnecessary care that adds costs and doesn’t benefit – and may harm — patients
  • Encouraging more shared decision-making between doctors, other health care providers and patients, especially in important decisions about end-of-life care

Among the speakers will be:
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  • Christine Cassel, MD, President and CEO, ABIM and ABIM Foundation
  • Mark Smith, MD, President and CEO, California HealthCare Foundation (via Skype)
  • Robert Berenson, MD, Senior Fellow, The Urban Institute
  • David Auerbach, MD, Policy Researcher, RAND
  • Nancy Morioka-Douglas, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine/Family and Community Medicine, Stanford University Medical School,
  • Steven E.Weinberger, MD, Executive Vice President and CEO, American College of Physicians
  • Lyn Paget, Director of Policy and Outreach, Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making
  • Angelo Volandes, MD, practicing internal medicine physician in the MGH Department of Medicine and a junior faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Advance Care Planning (ACP)
  • Susan Dentzer, Editor-in-Chief, Health Affairs
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1 Response to “Health Affairs Event: Medicare Savings Ideas For The Super Committee”

  1. Thomas Cox Says:

    Well here is a thought…

    Provider capitation, the Prospective Payment Systems, and DRG systems put health care providers in the role of inefficient health insurers for their patients.

    So if you want to cut out a lot of waste and improve the quality of care, stop digging the hole deeper – eliminate health provider insurance risk assumption, monitor the costs of care rather than force providers into roles they cannot ethically fulfill – covering the costs of one patient’s health care needs with payments earmarked for the care of other patients.

    We could increase providers’ service capacities, reduce costs, eliminate the greatest inefficiency in the current health care (finance) systems, and eliminate the most injurious unethical provider behavior – delaying and denying patient care to protect against provider operating losses and insolvencies..

    But I am not counting on seeing that happen – the allure of quick and easy fixes and the clarion call for extending, rather than eliminating capitation, even after four decades of failed public policy, provider insolvencies, takeovers, and increasingly monopolistic health care (finance) systems is just too great.

    But it would be ever so refreshing to see rational economic policies advanced for salvaging what is left of Medicare/Medicaid and social security.

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