Measure proposes development of 'healthcare innovation zones'

Democratic Representative Allyson Schwartz (PA) has filed legislation which would instruct HHS to pilot-test "healthcare innovation zones," a concept that would link up academic medical centers with community providers providing inpatient, outpatient, post-acute and preventive care services. The pilot described in the bill would operate for a minimum of three years, and could be renewed at the end of that period.

The new entities would be paid in a manner the rewards high quality and good outcomes, rather paying solely for units of service delivered. On the surface, the scheme closely resembles one put forth by a group of hospitals calling themselves the Value Coalition. Members of the coalition, which includes hospitals in Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana, quality disincentives built by Medicare worse.

The proposal has already won the support of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which argues that this approach will help providers to "truly reform delivery systems and improve the health of communities," according to AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch.

To learn more about the legislation:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

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