Friday, December 3, 2010

Health Care Reform Benefit

One of the overlooked features of the current health care reform effort is the initiative to boost the quality of care, hopefully while reducing the cost. The 10-year, $10 billion program hasn't attracted a lot of attention, perhaps because of its growing support across a wide spectrum. This seems to be something almost everyone can agree on.

Improving the quality of health care is important not only because it will save thousands of lives each year but also because poor quality care costs more. Dr. Donald Berwick, head of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, was quoted recently as saying that 1 of every 7 Medicare patients who is hospitalized suffers harm from a medical error. That's TERRIBLE!

A new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation plans to work with physicians in 8 states to better coordinate care. (Too bad Texas isn't one of them.) At least it's a start.

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