Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mr. Daschle and Medicare Health Support

From the savvy Merrill Goozner of the GoozNews blog about Mr. Daschle's likely ascent to head of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) (italics mine):

'.... he has the knowledge that will allow him to make his mark in the short run by instituting bold administrative changes at the agencies under his new command, especially the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Changes in the government's two big health care programs, which account for half of all health care spending, can pave the way for changes throughout the system.

For instance, look for him to reinstitute programs like Medicare Health Support, which offered individualized chronic care management to beneficiaries with heart disease and diabetes, but was abruptly canceled by the Bush administration earlier this year. He may experiment with broader pay-for-performance rules for physicians, or tinker with the relative compensation system that pays radiologists and surgeons three times the salary of primary care physicians. Look for an exponential increase in pilot programs at HHS that could set the stage for broad-based reform.'

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