Keehan highlighted six areas she said providers should watch closely as the discussions continue: the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the proposed Independent Medicare Advisory Council; insurance reforms; the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act; coverage increases; malpractice; and the so-called physician payment “fix.”
After outlining some of the broad reform topics, Keehan addressed issues specific to behavioral health, such as defining quality measures for mental health, which she said is more challenging than for acute-care providers who define quality measures for congestive heart failure, knee replacement surgery or pneumonia.
“You have to help people understand your patients,” Keehan told attendees, adding that unless they decide on such measures, the task will fall to “people in think tanks who don't care for your patients.” She also said the most successful behavioral healthcare providers will be those who “master integration,” and mentioned a pilot test for pay for performance for psychiatry in 2016. Keehan said she hopes demonstration projects will look at ways to integrate care for the homeless, developmentally disabled, elderly, or those who suffer from chronic disease.
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