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Real work on new health care payment system

by Lola Butcher

Anyone interested in a new payment model for health care needs to keep
an eye on the High Value Health Care Project under way at Mayo Clinic.
Its goal: Support a new national model for high value care delivery.

Robert Nesse, MD, president and CEO, Franciscan Skemp Healthcare, Mayo Health System, reported on this important initiative at a breakout session this morning.

Mayo, using its 54,000 employees, retirees and dependents as a study cohort, launched the project about six months ago in conjunction with Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the Institute for Health Care Research at Intermountain Health Care. That’s a formidable team.

As you probably know, the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care identifies Intermountain and Mayo as the benchmarks that everyone else should be chasing. And Peter Orzsag, director of the Congressional Budget Office, has his eye on benchmarking as a key to solving America’s health care cost crisis–which means this project is likely to inform analysis that is presented to Congress.

In the first phase of the project, five conditions are under the
microscope: congestive heart failure, diabetes, heart disease, low back
pain and depression.

The project seeks to understand high value care for these chronic illnesses:

  • Document the quality and cost over time (not well understood by providers today) of best practice for selected patients with chronic illnesses
  • Implement evidence-based best practice and patient shared decision-making for high cost, high prevalence chronic diseases
  • Study new reimbursement models that support high value care for patients with chronic illness
  • Improve the value of care for Mayo patients.