Monday, May 18, 2009

Progress on Finding the $2 Trillion--Insurer Association Says Physician and Hospital Payment Changes "Won't All Be Voluntary"

Just how will the health care stakeholders who promised President Obama $2 trillion in savings last week achieve the reduction?

This from a May 18th Bloomberg story:

Standardized billing and forms would cut administrative expenses, said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, a Washington-based trade group, in an interview today. Some likely measures, such as changing how government programs pay hospitals and doctors, will need legislation, said Jay M. Gellert, chief executive officer at Health Net Inc., an insurer in Woodland Hills, California...

The health-insurance industry will probably recommend paying physicians on the basis of how well their patients fare rather than the number of doctor’s visits, Gellert said.

It won’t all be voluntary,” Gellert said in an interview last week. “A lot of it will be law.”

Oh, so the insurance industry plans to have the docs and hospitals incur changes to their compensation aimed at developing some of the $2 trillion in payment reductions that "won't all be voluntary?" I presume the reference to "mandatory" changes is there so that they'll be "scoreable" under the Congressional budget rules.

I wonder, did the insurance trade association make that clear to the AHA and the AMA before they took them into the West Wing?

This is just getting to be more and more fun to watch!

Related posts:

"Health Care Leaders Say Obama Overstated Their Promise to Control Costs"

The $2 Trillion Offer to Reduce Health Care Costs—Now They've Done It!

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