Many analysts and policymakers agree that the fragmentation of the health care delivery system results in uncoordinated care, frustrated patients, higher costs, wasted administrative dollars and lost opportunities for rapid improvement in our health care system. There is less agreement as to how to reform health care payments in order to harmonize health care delivery and reduce this fragmentation. How do institutions, communities and practitioners transform their organizations to deliver high-quality, patient-centered care when different payers pay at different rates, and some patients have no one paying at all?
To answer this important question and related ones, the Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund sponsored an April 13 briefing. Speakers were: Steve Safyer, Montefiore Medical Center, NY; Gregory Reicks, Grand Junction, CO; John Colmers, Johns Hopkins Medicine, who chairs the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission; and Jim Bentley, health policy consultant, Silver Spring, Maryland. Stuart Guterman of Commonwealth and Ed Howardof the Alliance co-moderated.
These experts focused on three communities that have reformed and harmonized health care payments across payers to improve care: a New York health system that serves a low income population; a Colorado community that pools money from public and private sources to provide care for all patients; and the State of Maryland, which has been using an all payer hospital rate setting system for years to control hospital costs and help cover the cost of care for their uninsured.
Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)