Remember when health care reform was freshly signed and the industry pundits were scrambling to figure out what it meant for the industry? It reminds me of the Chinese Curse: May you live in interesting times. Because things are getting interesting, and encouraging. Health plans and providers are starting to get to the business of reforming health care. They don’t call it that, but the various constituents are having active, productive conversations. (BTW. they do describe it like that.). I can’t count the number of times CMOs and COOs have told me that HCR helped bring everyone to the table. As just one example, the whole Medical Home/Accountable Care Organization concept seemed like the most difficult high wire act to pull off (if you understand today’s reimbursement world), but there are numerous MH/ACO programs in active rollout right now(e.g. IBX, BCBSRI, CareFirst.) Admittedly, some of them are small and/or limited to very specific regions or practices, but everyone needs to get comfortable and collect data and measure. Expect this to start to drive new contracting discussions with increasing emphasis on outcomes, and probably more risk being shouldered by the provider.
I’ll continue to catalog examples as we go along, but it seems clear to me: reform is happening and things are getting interesting.