Chugging Toward a Better Health Care System

While everyone in healthcare holds their breath and consults their crystal ball waiting to see what the Supreme Court will have to say about the Affordable Care Act, a special event being held in Washington D.C. on June 22 shows just how much our system of care has changed and provides a picture of the kind of high-value system we must have in the future.

Under the auspices of ACHP and Kaiser Permanente, leaders from organizations across the country, large and small, including four ACHP member plans, will be discussing how they have tackled the critical Triple Aim of “Better Care, Better Health, and Lower Costs.”  They will be joined by Jon Blum, the talented Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center of Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who will talk about how these success stories provide models for superior care for systems across the country.

The event, titled “Innovators Show the Way to Better Care, Better Health, and Lower Costs,” will bring together health care leaders whose successful initiatives are featured in a new book “Pursuing the Triple Aim: Seven Innovators Show the Way to Better Care, Better Health, and Lower Costs.”  Those in attendance will hear from (ACHP member plans are in italics):

  • Maureen Bisognano, President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and co-author of “Pursuing the Triple Aim”
  • Charles Kenney, award-winning health care writer and co-author of “Pursuing the Triple Aim”
  • Dave Ford, CareOregon; Portland, Oregon
  • Beth Waterman, HealthPartners; Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Jack Cochran, M.D., Alide Chase, and John August, Kaiser Permanente; Oakland, California
  • Anthony DiGioia, M.D., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Jeannette Clough, Mount Auburn Hospital; Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Robert Mecklenburg, M.D., Virginia Mason Medical Center; Seattle, Washington and Patricia McDonald, Intel Corporation; Portland, Oregon
  • Richard Lopez, M.D., and Kate Koplan, Atrius Health; Newton, Massachusetts
  • George Kerwin, Bellin Health; Green Bay, Wisconsin

As I have written before, the only way we are truly going to be able to improve both the quality and cost of care in the U.S. is to reengineer delivery systems so that they are focused on what patients need, when they need it, and where they can best be cared for.  There is a national movement toward a more efficient and patient-centered system of care and organizations like these got that train moving long before Congress enacted the health reform law. In fact, models like these helped formulate many of the elements of the law that seek to encourage and incentivize delivery system reform.

Nobody knows for sure what the future holds for the health reform law (and anyone who tells you they do can also sell you the Brooklyn Bridge for a dollar). But I can guarantee you one thing, no matter how the legal and legislative challenges play out, the momentum behind these type of improvements is much too strong to be turned back. That train, as they say, has already left the station.

-Patricia Smith
President and CEO, ACHP

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One thought on “Chugging Toward a Better Health Care System

  1. Pingback: New Book Explores Success Stories of Innovative Approaches to Better Care, Better Health and Lower Costs — Center For Total Health | Kaiser Permanente

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