A work in progress

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS EDITORIALS -

To hear the CMS spin is to hear what a suc­cess the ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions are (“CMS names ACOs leav­ing Pi­o­neer pro­gram,” ModernHealth­care.com, July 16). The re­al­ity is you wouldn’t have groups leav­ing the pro­gram if that were a fact. The fact is, qual­ity ini­tia­tives are gain­ing and out­comes are im­prov­ing, mostly be­cause of bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tions and health data in­for­ma­tion the groups have been re­view­ing from them­selves. As far as sav­ings, it’s not hap­pen­ing. The costs of adding sys­tems, on top of the sys­tems in place, the ex­tra re­ports, who de­ter­mines the sav­ings, and how they will ac­tu­ally be shared—it’s all an out­come in mo­tion and yet to show sig­nif­i­cant re­turn for the in­vest­ment made (hard cost and staff ex­tra time costs). A few mil­lion dollars in re­ported sav­ings is a long road from the tril­lions be­ing spent in health­care. But hey, it is bet­ter than a stick in the eye.

Dennis Ger­ber St. Au­gus­tine, Fla.

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