Rhode Island policymakers and the state's healthcare industry began to draft plans last month on how best to overhaul payment to hospitals, doctors and other providers and simultaneously improve the health and well-being of its citizens.
If successful, the state will end the effort in October with proposals for new payment initiatives, targets for community health improvement, information technology investment, state laws to be introduced (or repealed), and, possibly, spending targets.
“We have set a number of goals,” said Elizabeth Roberts, Rhode Island's lieutenant governor. “Economically sustainable is absolutely one of them.”
Though it is too early to know how the coalition of public- and private-sector officials will decide to address health-spending growth, Roberts said the goal won't be only to reduce costs. Healthcare must also be high quality, she said. “We also need to make sure we get value for what we spend.”