Given changing reimbursement incentives and collaborative models for physicians and hospitals, Greg Mertz, managing director of Physician Strategies Group, LLC, discusses why the Congressional proposal “Better Care, Lower Cost Act” of 2014 is financially more attractive to providers than ACO models and whether he thinks it will be passed. He also deconstructs CMS’ recently reported financial results for such health reform delivery initiatives as Medicare ACOs, Pioneer ACOs, and the Physician Group Practice demonstration, and weighs in on which, if any, model he considers the most sustainable.
With hospital readmission rates under close scrutiny by CMS, Torrance Memorial Health System launched a readmission program in early 2013 that has been recognized as a program of excellence for its innovation and impact on the community. Navigators work with patients prior to discharge from the hospital to educate them on the hospital’s Care Transitions program, which includes a network of Skilled Nursing Facilities, or SNF’s and one home health agency. And once the patient is discharged, ambulatory case managers keep watch on the patients after the 30-day penalty phase is over.