MedPAC chief proposes care coordination cost savings

According to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), physicians should be given more leeway in how they partner with hospitals in accountable care organizations (ACO) and other care coordination models to create cost savings, reported American Medical News.

"A program of care coordination has to be carefully woven into the practice environment where it occurs," said MedPAC Chair Glenn Hackbarth during a June 19 hearing before the House Ways and Means health subcommittee, according to amednews. "It's not possible to achieve good care coordination by imposing it externally. It's not the sort of thing you can design from a distance and plug into a local healthcare system," he said.

The MedPAC report also suggested moving away from a fee-for-service structure between patients, their families, and any care coordination ventures between hospitals and physicians, according to MedPage Today. It suggested capping out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries at $5,000 per year, and raising premiums for supplementary insurance by 20 percent.

"These care coordination interventions must work against strong incentives and patterns of behavior in that push in the opposite direction," Hackbarth told Congress.

For more:
- here's the amednews article
- read the MedPage Today article
- read Hackbarth's testimony (.pdf)