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Who Wants an Empty Hospital?

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, April 4, 2014

Kaiser is perhaps the most-cited example of an integrated delivery system in history. Held up by many as the model of efficient healthcare delivery, the California-based system, from its inception, closed the loop on payer and provider battles over reimbursement rate increases through integration.

The point is, Harper and people like him have been operating under a truly integrated model for so long that it's second nature. He believes, and a lot of evidence would back him up, that it's a better, higher quality and more efficient way to deliver care. He's preaching the Gospel of Integration, and finally, people are listening.

No More Incentives to "Do More"

That doesn't mean Kaiser's way is perfect, but it does mean that its executives have unique perspective on how to deal with the basic model, which is rapidly proliferating across the US as employers, payers, and providers seek closer collaboration and shared risk/reward deals.

It boils down to this: The only way to really put a dent in healthcare costs is to have all sites of care working together to coordinate care. Perverse incentives to "do more" have been eliminated or at least significantly reduced by the practice of evidence-based medicine and the integration of data metrics that help providers make the best decisions.

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2 comments on "Who Wants an Empty Hospital?"


gs (4/7/2014 at 4:25 PM)
This should mean insurance rates go down right?

pplemmons (4/4/2014 at 4:29 PM)
So it's "back to the future" and the future is managed care! Let's call it what it is and it's been around for a long time, as with Kaiser. All well and good, except for the hospital industry, which has a large target on its back. Does the hospital industry understand this? Sometimes I wonder if the AHA does, when they stand shoulder to shoulder with the Federal government in pushing "healthcare reform". And if the prevailing norm becomes managed care, soon enough we will have the problem of rationing care, which is the logical successor to managed care. Take a look at the British system. Be careful what you wish for.