Government to try healthcare initiatives

June 9, 2010 at 2:06 AM
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NEW YORK, June 9 (UPI) -- It's essential to change the way U.S. healthcare is funded to reward high-quality, efficient care, officials of a New York non-profit group say.

Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, says the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation must be inclusive and flexible in developing payment initiatives, monitor their impact and -- if they appear successful -- distribute information about the findings among healthcare providers.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is required to develop by 2011 at least 18 reform models specified in the new healthcare reform law, including patient-centered medical homes; promotion of care coordination through salary-based payment; community-based health teams to support small-practice medical homes; use of health information technology and salary-based payment for physicians.

"If health reform is to succeed in improving care and curbing spending, this new center must function like a research and development laboratory for healthcare delivery, designed to discover, support and disseminate the best and most innovative ideas," Davis says in a statement.

In an article in the journal Health Affairs, Commonwealth Fund researchers provide recommendations to develop innovative ways of providing and paying for healthcare that strives to reduce costs while preserving or enhancing healthcare quality.

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