Six Key Areas of Health Reform
Quality Improvement Initiatives
For years, the high costs of the American healthcare system were justified by superior outcomes. A false assumption? Maybe. Indeed, study after study suggests that our healthcare system does not actually produce such outcomes.
Health reform aims to change all that. The legislation is designed to improve patient safety and healthcare quality. The national strategy for healthcare quality improvement emphasizes prevention and wellness, and is expected to result in fewer and less-expensive acute episodes over time.
How will health reform bring about quality improvement?
- Performance-based payments and bundled payments will enhance care coordination.
- A comparative clinical-effectiveness program will align incentives with performance, enhance transparency regarding safety, quality and costs, deploy clinical information technology, enhance healthcare workforce skills, and increase the supply of primary care providers.
- Reduced payments for readmissions will incentivize hospitals to do everything possible to keep patients from returning.
- Medicare penalties for poor outcomes will encourage providers to address quality issues.
What does all this change mean for healthcare organizations?
- Significant positive revenue impact for quality and efficiency improvements
- Negative revenue impact for lower performing organizations