Contact: John Rother
Key Measures to Curb Health Costs Included in Budget Deal
Statement by John Rother, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care, on House and Senate Passage of H.R. 8, The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
“Sandwiched between the hotly debated tax provisions and an urgently needed fix to Medicare’s physician pay, negotiators have tucked three underappreciated, but important, steps toward lower health care costs in today’s budget bill.
“First, the law establishes a new bipartisan commission appointed by the President and Congress to grapple with the challenge of providing affordable, long-term care for seniors and for disabled Americans.
“Second, the act provides badly needed funding for the development of quality metrics for medical care. These measurement efforts are crucial to private and public initiatives to reform health care delivery and lower costs.
“Finally, and perhaps most significantly, the law establishes bonuses for medical providers who participate in clinical registries. These state-of-the art analytic tools, usually linked to electronic medical records, help physicians and other providers track and improve the quality of the care they provide. The medical specialties which have pioneered their use, cardiology and thoracic surgery, have produced dramatic improvements.
“These provisions are only small steps on the road toward an affordable health system, but they are important. The National Coalition on Health Care believes we can do even more to curb costs by improving care delivery and cutting waste. With tax reform, spending and the debt ceiling on the agenda of the incoming Congress, that task is now urgent.”
To read NCHC’s own plan for health and fiscal policy—Curbing Costs, Improving Care: The Path to an Affordable Health Care Future—click here.
|The National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), the oldest and most diverse group working to achieve comprehensive health system reform, is a 501(c)(3) organization representing more than 80 participating organizations, including medical societies, businesses, unions, health care providers, faith-based associations, pension and health funds, insurers and groups representing consumers, patients, women, minorities and persons with disabilities. Member organizations collectively represent – as employees, members, or congregants – over 100 million Americans.Some members of the National Coalition Health Care do not, or cannot, take positions either on specific legislation, strategies or on any policies outside their respective mission areas. However, all that can, do endorse broad policy positions in support of comprehensive health system change.|