It is widely recognized by policymakers and payers that our nation’s healthcare system is fragmented, creating gaps in care for patients. Researchers believe that part of this fragmentation is a result of the separate payments furnished by Medicare for each provider type that a patient may encounter during a single care episode.
This assertion led to the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative, which was established under the Affordable Care Act.
Under the authority established within the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created the “Innovation Center” with the responsibility of supporting and testing innovative payment and delivery care service models. The goal of the efforts is to deliver higher quality, more coordinated care at a lower cost.
Because evidence-based research has shown that a bundled payment for care provided across settings may align incentives across provider type and encourage them to work collaboratively, bundled payments are among the models being tested within the Innovation Center.
Within a healthcare system that is seeking to recognize and reward value over volume – patients are the clear winners within the equation. Bundled payments, as well as other health reforms such as Accountable Care Organizations and patient-centered Medical Homes, build in financial incentives that encourage enhanced care management and closer alignment among clinicians and providers. This collaboration will contribute to fewer gaps in the delivery of medical care.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) broadly defines ACOs as “groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients.” The ultimate goal of this care coordination is to streamline services and ensure that patients get the right care at the right time with better clinical outcomes. A secondary goal is to create savings to the Medicare program by eliminating duplicate services, medical errors and preventable rehospitalizations.
The government now has proposed voluntary certification criteria for the EHR systems used in nursing homes and post-acute settings. Read the story
May is American Stroke Month. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association encourages Americans to become more educated about stroke, symptoms, prevention and treatment. Surprisingly, many don’t think of stroke as a major health concern even though it is the Nation’s No. 4 cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability.
Drug trials, which test the efficacy, dosing and adverse effects of new medications, often fail to include the oldest patients — those 70 and older — and that may affect doctors’ abilities to safely and most effectively prescribe these drugs to the oldest seniors. Read the story
There is more to being healthy than taking your vitamins and eating an apple a day. Education and awareness are crucial to live a healthy lifestyle.
National Women’s Health Week#160;is coordinated by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. This week is set aside to encourage women to make their health a priority and understand what it means to be well.
On Saturday, May 10th, Kindred’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Diaz delivered the commencement speech to the 2014 graduating class of American University‘s Kogod School of Business. After receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University, Paul addressed the eager students offering words of encouragement and advice.
The proposed Medicare Choices Empowerment and Protection Act would provide cash incentives to seniors for completing Advance Directives, which instruct caregivers about a patient’s choices for care if the patient cannot speak for him or herself. Read the story
Senator Barbara Boxer of California released a report, one year in the making, detailing the ways in which some California hospitals are reducing medical errors, which cause hundreds of thousands of deaths per year, according to some estimates. Read the story
The American Lung Association (ALA) released its 15th annual State of the Air report. The data is compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and analyzed by the ALA with the purpose of educating people about the air they breathe and how they can work to make air cleaner for better health.
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