Volume III, Issue 45

Nov. 7, 2016
A Healthier Medicare: Focusing on Primary Care, Mental Health, and Diabetes Prevention
CMS logo The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released on 11/2/16 a final version of its Medicare fee schedule for 2017 that affirms earlier proposals to pay primary care physicians more for work that was previously uncompensated or undercompensated. Medicare will begin to pay more in 2017 for treating patients with chronic illnesses and those with cognitive and behavioral problems.

According to Andy Slavitt, CMS Acting Administrator and Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer (in an 11/2/16 blog post):

...our country's health care system historically invested far more in treating sickness than maintaining health. This imbalance contributes to more spending on institutions, hospitals, and nursing homes, rather than keeping people healthy at home and in their communities.

By better valuing primary care, care coordination and prevention, we help people access the services they need to stay well. In addition to keeping people healthy, health care costs are often lower when people have a primary care provider and team of doctors and clinicians overseeing and coordinating their care. And efforts to reduce documentation burden in care management and coordination, tied in with our strategy of physician and clinician engagement, helps keep the focus on patient care that pays for what works and better supports and engages the medical community...today, Medicare is finalizing policies that improve how it pays for primary care, care coordination, and mental health care, and expanding an exciting CMS Innovation Center payment and service delivery model that aims to prevent diabetes.
How Obamacare stacks up against global health systems
Ivana Kottasova, in a November 2, 2016 CNNMoney post, compares the U.S. health system to systems in place in Canada, the U.K., France and Germany.
This brief look at our colleague nations illustrates how difficult health policy is for first world nations. These five are all experiencing various degrees of inefficiency, escalating costs, lack of access and/or funding issues.
Practical steps to fix the Affordable Care Act's 'crazy system'
Joel White, president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, in a Nov. 2, 2016 Fierce Healthcare post, writes:
Bill Clinton did the unthinkable in American politics when he said the Affordable Care Act is a "crazy system" in which premiums doubled and coverage was cut in half. He told the truth. A recent survey sponsored by the American College of Emergency Physicians found that most Americans agree with the former president. The survey reported that 55 percent are paying more or much more for their care, while 81 percent said their coverage has stayed the same or gotten worse.

According to the author:

This isn't about fixing the ACA. It is about creating workable, free markets that foster competition while protecting consumer access to affordable, quality care. The ACEP survey shows what people intuitively know: Bill Clinton is right; the ACA is a crazy system.
That doesn't mean we need to live with it, and it shouldn't mean Congress just watches it burn.



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Florida Health Industry Week in Review is published every Monday by FHIcommunications

Each Monday morning we share the top healthcare headlines of the previous week and summarize What Happened (WH) and Why It Matters (WIM).

To learn how you can join our team of editorial contributors, contact Jeffrey Herschler.

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