Big Picture: ACO Progress Report; Grading New Laws On Job Creation
Modern Healthcare takes a look at the 32 medical groups that were named late last year to be the accountable care organization "pioneers" and how their planning is taking shape. Meanwhile, The New York Times examines how job creation has become the buzz word for lobbyists.
Modern Healthcare: Getting Prepared
Medicare's first experiment with accountable care started with the New Year. But for the hospitals and doctors that agreed to closely manage medical care and spending for 860,000 seniors, it's too soon to tell what new investments the initiative will require, executives say. The 32 medical groups, health systems and hospitals named last month by the CMS as accountable care "Pioneers" were selected, in part, for their readiness and resources. But much of providers' planning will depend on what type of care patients need (Evans, 1/2).
The New York Times: New Laws Now Evaluated By Job Creation
After years of judging the merits of federal laws by their costs or savings, Washington is applying a new yardstick: Will they create or destroy jobs? … Health care lobbyists argue that cuts in Medicare and Medicaid take jobs away from nurses and other hospital employees. ... With unemployment stubbornly high, jobs, it seems, can be used to justify anything and everything. But some economists and other critics say that the figures can be misleading as advocates cook up inflated estimates to make their case (Pear, 1/2).
Also, Politico Pro takes a look forward and a look back at the health policy agenda —
Politico Pro: The Year Ahead For Health Policy
The coming year in health policy will be shaped by the drama of three days of Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of the health law, and by the not-following-the-script presidential campaign season. But that doesn't mean there won’t be plenty of action in Congress, FDA and HHS as well. We can safely predict funding fights, exchange development, and batches of regulation — often arriving late Friday afternoon and inevitably eliciting a reaction in which someone or other calls it cumbersome and heavy-handed (Kenen, Norman and Feder, 1/3).
Politico Pro: 10 Health Care Events That Mattered In 2011
It wasn't the year that the health care reform law got repealed — but the country didn't exactly learn to love the law, either. Instead, 2011 will be remembered as a year when the Affordable Care Act survived and some important setup work began in Washington and the states. But the events of 2011 also guaranteed that the fight over the law will go on for years (Nather, 12/30).