Thirteen physician, hospital and insurance executives told a Senate panel that the U.S. healthcare system should be revamped, reworked and reshaped with patient care at its core.
The group told the Senate Finance Committee how to fashion a system in which hospitals are rewarded for preventing readmissions, payers are lauded for promoting more efficient practices, and doctors are paid more for working with patients before they get sick.
Glenn Steele Jr., president of three-hospital Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa., said chronically ill patients with multiple health problems should become the central focus of efforts to change how care is delivered in the U.S. Geisinger is set to release a study on how it has reduced costs and improved care for chronically sick patients. Steele said that a number of the health systems sites saw reductions of 50% or more in the number of re-hospitalizations.
Glenn Hackbarth, chairman of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, told the Senate committee that the healthcare system should move toward better coordination and integration of care. To do so, Medicare and private payers should change howand how muchphysicians are paid. Hackbarth put particular emphasis on the role of primary care doctors in care coordination, adding that a boost in reimbursement would likely be needed.