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Showing posts from January, 2013

"...I was fully planning to quit in protest. I’d even started writing op-ed articles. I was going to resign pretty noisily, I’m afraid."

Richard S. Foster is retiring this week after 18 years as the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. From an interview in KaiserHealthNews.org:

Q: How do we control health care costs in Medicare, Medicaid and the private sector?

A: Years ago, we thought that converting from cost-based reimbursement to prospective payment systems (a set payment that covers the entire cost of the admission) was the magic answer, and it helped a lot. Then, back in the early 1990s, everybody thought managed care was the magic answer. And that helped some, too, although most of their success was in negotiating lower payment rates, which you can only take so far.

We’ve had other instances -- pay-for-performance and consumer-driven health care -- that people had hoped would be the magic answer. Right now, there’s a great deal of hope that further integration of care, greater bundling of payments and other innovations like that will be the answer. I’m not optimistic that these things…

Tensions In Innovation, 2013

Forbes:  "...it’s hard not to worry that if medicine goes in the direction of the Cheesecake Factory, where care is administered on the cheap by customer-service technologists plugging data into an algorithm, then an ancient and noble profession will face extinction because of an inability (some might say a haughty unwillingness) to adequately contemplate and communicate its essential value proposition."