In a uniquely rare and uncharacteristic showing of political compromise, the what seemed to be paralyzed House of Representatives passed a Medicare overhaul piece of legislation Thursday.
This effort, led by both sides of the aisle, stopped the ever down spiraling reimbursement to doctors. It also extended the children’s health insurance program or CHIP.
This was an indication of how Congress can and should govern, specifically when it comes to health care policy. For years, the only recommended solution to slow Medicare costs was to attack reimbursement to doctors. The fallacy here is that this is an economic proposal which flies in contradiction to the Triple Aim of healthcare as preached by Dr. Don Berwick, et.al. With this new piece of legislation doctors will begin to be reimbursed for improving clinical outcomes and the quality of healthcare. This is a bold step in the right direction. And if physicians are successful in improving the patient experience and quality of healthcare, costs will come down.
Had the House not passed this bill doctors very well could had to of absorbed a 21% decrease in Medicare payments. Most physicians would have dropped Medicare all together as a payer if that happened. At a cost of $214 billion over the next 10 years this bill shows at least a willingness and capability for Congress to architect healthcare policy in the future. A very good sign. Very good.