Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013
This Week's News
Health policy decision-makers to discuss how new models can cut costs, improve care
A new era of health care will begin Jan. 1 when all of the interlocking pieces of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are in effect. Just 90 days in advance of this health care transformation, more than a dozen leaders in health policy will examine how notable reforms will impact various sectors of the health care ecosystem during a half-day forum Thursday.
The event, hosted by the National Journal, will convene thought leaders and key decision-makers to discuss the complex political, medical and business ramifications of implementation of the ACA. Physicians and others can view a live webcast of the event on the AMA website.
Of particular importance for physicians is the third panel, to take place from 1:25 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, which will focus on whether health reform can rein in the nation's increasingly unaffordable costs of care.
Underwritten by the AMA, this panel of six health policy leaders will look at the ACA's far-reaching efforts to contain health care costs and improve quality. Reforms under the law include changes to the way health care is paid and delivered and provisions for rewarding care quality rather than quantity.
Meanwhile, Medicare's failed payment formula prevents that part of the health care system from becoming an effective, 21st-century model of care. The AMA's "Fix Medicare Now" campaign gives physicians and patients their own forum to tell lawmakers that now is the time to establish a new system that fosters high-quality care.
In August the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved a bill to repeal Medicare's SGR formula and provide a transition to new models of care delivery and payment. The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and the U.S. Senate Finance Committee also are expected to issue their own versions of the legislation this fall.
The AMA and 110 other medical associations have been urging Congress to adopt a set of key principles for reforming Medicare, which the groups submitted last fall. The principles emphasize the need for flexible care delivery and payment models that physicians can use to help lower costs and improve their patients' quality of care, regardless of their practice size or setting. The AMA will continue to work with Congress toward aligning legislation with these principles.
Plan to watch the National Journal webcast starting at 1:25 p.m. Eastern time Thursday and send an email to your members of Congress through the AMA's Fix Medicare Now campaign website.