Berwick's to-do list is daunting. Says Wolterman: "I hope Dr. Berwick pushes CMS to write clear implementing regulations in a timely fashion that take into account the provider perspectives. I hope he promptly removes regulatory barriers that currently exist which prevent hospitals, physicians, and other providers from coming together to be an ACO. And I hope he convinces congress and the administration to pass a new bill that includes specific healthcare delivery system reforms and individual accountability for health which are missing in the newly passed health reform bill."
In patient safety, much is made of the "rights" in care: the right drug given to the right patient at the right time. In the case of Berwick's tenure at CMS, he may have the right training, background, and industry respect to drive CMS to something new. The key questions remain whether his particular fix is the right dose, and whether the politics, the industry, and the economy are converging at the right time for him.