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Medicare Chief Moves Forward with New Web Sites For Testing Models for Patient Care

Posted Sep 07 2010 9:23pm

Overall Dr. Berwick is a breath of fresh air with innovative thinking and I hope he gets a chance to work on some of these long seeded problems with Medicare as it imagehas been years since CMS has had a director.  I get the feeling that we have folks in Congress that prefer to keep stirring the pot rather than see if someone can make some progress here.  These are times like we have never lived through before so you can’t compare past performances of others to what we are dealing with today. 

If he does not get confirmed by the Senate at sometime, his job runs out at the end of the year 2011 so what a pressure cooker situation with less than 2 years to jump in here.  Keeping the Senators happy and working on creating solutions to this big problem all at once is a big task, especially when the Senate is full of “non participants”.   I think he’s smart enough to realize we need some human touches in all of this and not just running a bunch of new software out there – we are up to our ears in hearing that and self included with too many scatterings with “innovation”.  A little more collaboration and working together in technology solutions would be a welcome change at this point.  Right now with role models this is about as good as we get, doctors texting while driving, congressmen using cell phones while driving and doing a radio show.   

At least we see Dr. Berwick with some technology in hand at times, which is more than I can say for others in administration and HHS, so perhaps there’s hope on the horizon with a good role model here.  BD 

WASHINGTON — Newly installed Medicare chief Donald Berwick, keeping a low public profile after encountering controversy over his appointment, is moving quickly behind the scenes to seed the US health care system with 100 to 300 sites to test new models of caring for patients.

In Massachusetts, private insurers such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield have begun expanding the use of global payments for the care of diabetes, high-blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Bay State political leaders, seeking ways to control costs in the Commonwealth’s pioneering health care initiative, are considering whether to expand the adoption of such systems.

Unless he can win over some GOP senators, who voted uniformly against the health care law, Berwick won’t be able to win a 60-vote confirmation in the Senate and will be forced to leave office when his recess appointment expires at the end of 2011

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