Good news: Mortality rates for many cancers are dropping. The challenge: Hospitals and health systems will be serving a new kind of patient—older, sicker, and harder to treat—says a report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
The mandatory shift to bundled payments for hip and knee replacements is a huge and complicated job for hospitals. "There is really no good blueprint" for it, says one surgeon. But it has to has to happen, and it and will.
"There really needs to be an alliance among patients, families, and communities. At the end of the day, they get to decide what is the right care," says Vikas Saini, MD, president of the Lown Institute.
In the quest for quality care, business as usual won't do. Progress is what change is all about. And there's an upside: When value-based payments really hit, evidence-based medicine may get some traction.
The former head of CMS says "we will never solve the problem of cost and finance by focusing on cost and finance." Instead, it will be resolved "by focusing on the design and redesign of healthcare and the improvement of its quality."