The Future of Payment Policy

While healthcare policy has been a hot topic of late, one component is consistently overlooked: payment policy.

Because this is a vital component to reform, I wanted to get some thoughts on the subject from an industry expert. I had the privilege to listen to Jack Wennberg, one of the fathers of assessing variation and its impact on costs and quality.

“If healthcare reform concentrates on four goals,” Wennberg said, “then the value of care will increase and growth in healthcare costs will decrease.” The goals are as follows: 1) promote organized healthcare delivery; 2) establish informed patient choice around tests, procedures, drugs, elective surgeries and end-of-life care; 3) improve the science of healthcare delivery; and 4) constrain undisciplined growth in spending and capacity. Read more

GAO’s Flawed Analysis Paints Wrong 340B Picture

Last month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a critical report on the 340B program. GAO interviewed 61 stakeholders in the program about their ability to generate savings and distribute drugs. GAO also examined the adequacy of federal oversight of the program.

The main thrust of the report is that 340B needs better federal oversight, identifies areas of the program that need clarification and warrant discussion. But the government should not act upon the findings because the review was flawed and undermined by sampling bias and size. Read more