Below is a press release about a working group formed to tackle Medicare reform. It is self explanatory.
for immediate release
CENTURY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW WORKING GROUP ON MEDICARE REFORM
Group Featuring Nationally Prominent Physicians and Public Health Experts Will Explore Ways to Improve Care While Reducing Waste
July 22, 2008, New York, N.Y.—The Century Foundation (TCF) today announced the formation of a new Working Group on Medicare Reform. TCF, a nonpartisan public policy research foundation, has assembled a group of prominent physicians and health care experts from around the country to assess the current state of Medicare and make recommendations to reform and strengthen one of the nation’s most effective and enduring public programs.
The Working Group will be directed by Maggie Mahar, a fellow at the Century Foundation, author/editor of the highly respected blog Healthbeatblog.org (www.healthbeatblog.org), and author of the widely acclaimed book Money Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Cost So Much (Harper/Collins, 2006). She notes that a unique aspect of this panel is its composition. “This Working Group is composed primarily of physicians and public health officials, because they know better than anyone what’s wrong with the system and what’s needed to fix it,” she said. “They also were chosen for this panel because they each have a reputation for being professionalswho put patients first.”
Working Group members include:
Christine Cassel, MD
President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine
and ABIM Foundation
Peter Eisenberg, MD
Medical Director, California Cancer Care
Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD
Chair, Department of Bioethics
National Institutes of Health
Elliott S. Fisher, MD, MPH
Director, Center for Health Policy Research The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice Professor of Medicine and Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School Senior Associate, VA Outcomes Group, White River Junction
Diane Meier, MD, FACP
Director, Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute
Professor, Geriatrics and Internal Medicine,
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
James E. Sabin, MD Director, Ethics Program, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Clinical Professor, Departments of Ambulatory Care/Prevention and Psychiatry,
Harvard Medical School
Steve Shortell, Ph.D., M.P.
Dean, School of Public Health,
University of California, Berkeley
Robert M. Wachter, MD
Professor and Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine University of California, San Francisco Chief of the Medical Service, UCSF Medical Center Editor, AHRQ WebM&M (http://webmm.ahrq.gov) and Patient Safety Network (http://psnet.ahrq.gov)
The Working Group will create a blueprint for reform based on recommendations in the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s 2007 and 2008 reports. They will analyze the recommendations with the goal of refining, explaining, revising, or adding to them in ways that would strengthen the system. Among the issues they will consider will be:
revising Medicare’s physician fee schedule to pay more for primary care,
palliative care, and co-ordination and management of chronic diseases;
rethinking Medicare’s fee-for-service system to reward doctors for quality,
creating an independent Comparative Effectiveness Institute that reviews
head-to-head testing of drugs, devices, and procedures to ensure that they
are effective; and
identifying and rewarding hospitals that provide better outcomes and higher
patient satisfaction at a lower cost while helping other hospitals meet benchmarks.
Mahar believes that strong successful Medicare reform could be used as a demonstration project for national health reform. “As I see it, the larger goal of Medicare reform would be to show that lower cost and higher quality do indeed go hand in hand,” she said.
The Working Group plans to report its recommendations later this year.
The Century Foundation conducts public policy research and analyses of economic, social, and foreign policy issues, including inequality, retirement security, election reform, media studies, homeland security, and international affairs. The foundation produces books, reports, and other publications, convenes task forces and working groups, and operates seven informational Web sites. With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., The Century Foundation is nonprofit and nonpartisan and was founded in 1919 by Edward A. Filene.