Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Today is the first day of "Obamacare" for the hospital system

Ezra's on the case:
There are two big parts of the health reform law going into effect today. One penalizes hospitals if patients are re-admitted to the hospital within one month of a visit for a condition that should have been dealt with on the first trip. The other seeks to redistribute higher Medicare payments to the hospitals that are delivering better care.
 He goes a little deeper into the weeds in his post. For my part, I've always been skeptical of models that target low performing organizations and cut their funding, whether in terms of hospitals or schools. If the organization is suffering from some problem that inhibits the quality of their output, whether bad management or perverse incentives or incompetent personnel, isn't cutting their funding only going to make things worse?

Nevertheless, speaking of perverse incentives, putting hospitals on the hook for delivering bad care is a great idea. I would have preferred a system that spends a little more money and audits the hospital in an effort to pinpoint the problem, but the ACA is about broad directions more than perfect solutions.

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