Members of the pivotal Senate Finance Committee said that a focus on quality of care over quantity would drive a major part of an effort to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, though thornier issues over Medicare Advantage, coverage options and financing still divide some Republicans and Democrats.
The comments came after the committee and staffers met for several hours on Wednesday to go over more than a dozen proposed options meant to improve on how care is delivered across the country.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said afterward that members were largely on board with the goals were reaching for, but that no firm legislative text came out of the meeting.
Baucus said that the discussion touched on several topics, including incentive payments to hospitals and physicians, as well as ways to drive down the rate on hospital readmissions.
All told, the Baucus warned that many of the components of health reform would take years to fully implement, and in some cases, even longer to reap savings.
These are transformative ideas, he said.