Washington, D.C.—Good morning, ProviderNation. The questions on all minds, of course, are, What did James Michel know, and when did he know it?
You’ll recall that Michel was one of the stars of last week’s Provider IGNITE panel (hat tip, again, to the fine folks at PharMerica for sponsoring). He told (warned?) the audience that the proposed rules to bundled payments for knee-and-hip surgery were merely the tip of the spear.
“It’s important because it sets a precedent by moving from a voluntary, demonstration style of alternative payments to a mandatory alternative payment,” he said. More than that, the fine folks at CMS had already done 130 alternative payment demonstrations, and he expected more such rules to come flying out of Washington over the next 16 months as the Obama administration attempts to “lock in” its health care reform legacy.
Faster than you can say “Nostradamus,” CMS has announced that some 2,100 acute care hospitals, skilled nursing centers, doctors’ practices, and other assorted provider types are now moving out of prep and into the “risk-bearing” section of the “Bundled Payments for Care Improvement” initiative.
“By focusing on outcomes for an episode of care, rather than separate procedures in care delivery,” CMS’ own Patrick Conway says in a statement, “we are incentivizing hospitals, doctors, and other providers to work together to provide high-quality, coordinated care for patients.”
So Michel seems to have received total consciousness, well before his deathbed, which is nice. But he ought to be careful: He keeps this up, and they’ll make him a senior director of Medicare reimbursement and policy at some health care organization or something.
Florida Makes Its Move
Meanwhile, the Sunshine State has announced what it’s calling the “Dementia Care and Cure Initiative.” The fine folks at the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (talk about your Sophisticated Policy Apparatus) say they want to “partner” with folks to “increase awareness of dementia, as well as the services and supports currently available; assist communities with becoming more dementia-friendly; and advocate for programs that provide care and promote research efforts toward a cure. Action-oriented work plans will be individualized for communities as they work for the designation of a Caring Community.”
Florida has the country’s second-highest population of people who suffer from dementia, so any help is good help.
Care Versus Cure
Speaking of caring and curing, that study we mentioned a while ago has finally posted. Read it, and weep.