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The Health Care Revolution No One's Talking About: Changing How We Pay for Care

The Obama administration is poised to fundamentally change how we pay for health care in this country. By 2018, Medicare aims to tie half of all payments to the quality or value of care provided rather than the quantity of services rendered. Critics often fault the existing fee-for-service system for rewarding doctors for performing more procedures, and the Department of Health and Human Services is eager to embrace alternatives.

As the largest payer in the U.S. health care system, Medicare wields a huge influence on how health care is paid for and delivered, and this move is expected to trigger larger changes that ripple through the health care system. In this webinar, we'll explore the implications of this massive shift from volume toward value. Our expert panelists will assess the mixed track record of Accountable Care Organizations, which many see as precursors to this change, and discuss other promising innovations for boosting quality while lowering costs. What do early results from these ongoing experiments say about the future of payment reform?

Webinars are free and made possible by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation

WHEN: March 19, 2015, from 10 to 11 a.m. PST (1 to 2 p.m. EST)

Our distinguished panel included:

Dr. Arnold Milstein — As the director of the Clinical Excellence Research Center at Stanford’s School of Medicine, Dr. Milstein has helped pioneer new approaches to delivering higher quality care that reduces health care spending. At Stanford University, he launched a health care model under which complex, chronically ill patients are targeted for more intensive care and support, to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and medical complications. Dr. Milstein also serves as the medical director for the Pacific Business Group on Health and heads up health care innovation development for Mercer Health Care and Benefits. Previously, he co-founded the Leapfrog Group, an employer-based coalition advocating for improved transparency, quality and safety in hospitals.

Austin Frakt, PhD

Austin Frakt, PhD — A regular contributor to The New York Times’ The Upshot, Professor Frakt is a health economist and co-author of the popular health care blog The Incidental Economist. Frakt works for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University’s School of Medicine; and the Department of Health Policy and Management at Boston University’s School of Public Health. Frakt, who has published widely in leading health journals specializes in the economics of U.S. health care policy and financing.

Jordan Rau is a senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News. His stories have been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Politico, and on NPR and, among other media outlets. He came to KHN when it was started in 2009 from the Los Angeles Times, where he covered California government and health care politics in Sacramento. He previously reported for Newsday in New York, the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire and two newspapers in Vermont.


Dr. Milstein's webinar slides:

Austin Frakt's webinar slides:

Jordan Rau's webinar slides:


Suggested reading:

Reports & Articles

Paying For Hospital Quality,” by Kaiser Health News

FAQ On ACOs: Accountable Care Organizations, Explained,” by Kaiser Health News

"Lessons from 'Main Street' doctor practices," by Jeffrey Selberg and Arnold Milstein

"American Medical Home Runs," by Arnold Milstein and Elizabeth Gilbertson, Health Affairs

"Are Higher-Value Care Models Replicable?" by Arnold Milstein and Pranav P. Kothari, Health Affairs

How Ambulatory Intensive Caring Units Can Reduce Costs and Improve Outcomes,” by the California HealthCare Foundation

Medicare Physician Payment Reform: Securing the Connection Between Value and Payment,” Urban Institute

In historic announcement, HHS sets clear goals and timeline for shifting Medicare reimbursements from volume to value,” News release


The Cost-Cutting Power of Medicare,” by Peter Orszag, Bloomberg View

The Obama administration wants to dramatically change how doctors are paid,” by Jason Millman, The Washington Post

Accountable Care Organizations: Like H.M.O.s, but Different,” by Austin Frakt, NYT

Hundreds Of Hospitals Struggle To Improve Patient Satisfaction,” by Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News

Mixed Results For Obamacare Tests In Primary-Care Innovation,” by Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News

Can 'bundled' payments help slash health costs?” by Phil Galewitz, USA Today

"Efforts to Cut Health Costs Limp Along," by Rick Jurgens, Valley News

"Medicare Launching New ACO Program," by Joyce Frieden, MedPage Today

The Health Matters Webinar series is supported by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. The Center for Health Journalism is solely responsible for the selection of webinar topics and speakers.


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