Senate Finance Committee - Payment and Delivery System Reform

The Senate Finance Committee recently released an options paper outlining recommendations for payment and delivery system reform. These proposed options are comprehensive – charting a path for reforming payments for all providers and settings of care: doctors and other clinicians, hospitals, home health, nursing homes. This proposal marks the first formal set of recommendations from Congress as part of the reform debate.

It includes many items we have been working in including transparency, performance reporting and improving quality measurement. The proposed options move health care payment from being driven by the volume of services provided to the value of care and meeting patients needs. As these proposals take affect, all payments will have quality and patient-centeredness as key components. On many levels, the proposals recognize the importance of primary care and making sure that care is coordinated effectively for the most vulnerable. Moving from a “sick care” to a “health care” system requires these movements.

These proposals also recognize that cost is dragging down our health care system and that fixing the health care system means putting in place infrastructure we’ve never had before: health information technology; effective performance measurement; and institutionalizing comparative effectiveness research. That infrastructure is not “glitzy” and does not lead to financial returns overnight, but without them we can never have a health care system that promotes value.

For your information and to support your understanding these issues see attachments:

These are important first steps for what will be a long path toward comprehensive reform. We look forward to working with you to make sure that reform is centered around meeting patients needs, promoting quality and driving value for consumers and employers.

Grassley and Baucus options paper on reform released

Yesterday the Senate Finance Committee released its third and final paper on health care reform entitled “Options for Financing Comprehensive Health Care Reform”. See attached. It includes some items we have been working on including the Dartmouth Atlas.

The IHBA/HPCI is releasing soon our new Consumer Health Guide #4 Ranking of Hospitals for Chronic Care which is based upon the Dartmouth Atlas data. We also hope to meet with Senator Grassley soon re this and the importance of transparency/public reporting of health provider performance of quality and cost.

The Senate Finance Committee recently released the other two options documents: 1) Coverage options, and 2) Payment and Delivery System Reform. The second was emailed to you recently as we are working on these items directly as well. The first is available upon request. Please let me know if you would like to receive them.