“We heard dramatic reductions in healthcare costs through the different policies that are being done in different areas,” Herger told Modern Healthcare, adding that those models “should be encouraged—not only on the SGR fix, but just in healthcare in general.”
One such testimony came from Dr. David Share, vice president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan's Value Partnerships, a group of clinical initiatives among physicians, hospitals and the Michigan Blues. Share's written testimony highlighted a host of initiatives under the Physician Group Incentive Program, which the Michigan Blues established in 2005 to change the healthcare system in partnership with physician organizations across the state. The initiatives focus on multiple performance measures that are developed with provider partners, such as emergency department use rates for primary-care sensitive conditions and high-technology and low-technology imaging rates.
“What I hope is the subcommittee recognizes there is an incredible amount of untapped potential in local and regional areas around the country responding to very unique circumstances—it's not as if the provider system is uniform and homogenous across the country,” Share said after the hearing. “And that by the government collaborating actively and partnering with those local efforts, there is a tremendous potential to achieve to change both in the system of healthcare and in the outcomes in terms of cost and quality,” he added.
Other panelists included Dr. Jack Lewin, the CEO of the American College of Cardiology, who talked about the important role of clinical registries, and Dr. Lewis Sandy, senior vice president for clinical advancement at UnitedHealth Group, who talked about the UnitedHealth's Premium Designation Program that evaluates physician performance on quality and efficiency across 21 different areas, including primary care and specialties.