Vermont is a model health system under review for lowering costs

According to ABC news, OneCare Vermont covered about 24,000 Medicaid patients and now covers about 112,000 patients whose health care is provided through Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance.

The long-term goal is to expand it so that about 70 percent of health care services provided in Vermont are covered by the system, which encourages patients to stay healthier using specialized care, such as helping them manage chronic conditions like diabetes so they don't wind up needing more expensive treatment. Officials consider 70 percent a realistic goal.

In a switch from when providers were paid for each service performed, providers are allocated a set amount of money to cover the people in the program. This year, $580 million has been allocated to OneCare Vermont, an organization of health care providers tasked by the state with carrying out the spirit of the program.

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Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase announce health care company

The New York Times reports that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase just announced they would form an independent health care company to serve their employees.

The three companies noted the new entity would initially focus on technology to provide simplified, high-quality health care for their employees and their families, and at a reasonable cost. 

The partnership brings together three of the country’s most influential companies to try to improve a system that other companies have tried and failed to change: Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world; Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company led by the billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett; and JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States by assets.

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What a Trump election might mean for the ACA

In an article published November 9th on the Health Affairs BlogTimothy Jost, Emeritus Professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law and a member of the Institute of Medicine, cataloged the potential ramifications of what a Trump Presidency might mean for the Affordable Care Act.  A summary of Jost's arguments are included below:

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CMS announces new Primary Care delivery model

Public and private payers can apply through June 1 to participate in a new medical home model that will build on the Comprehensive Primary Care model to help practices support patients with serious or chronic diseases, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced today. 

Under the CPC+ model, CMS will partner with insurers and Medicaid agencies in up to 20 regions and up to 5,000 practices to provide monthly care management fees based on beneficiary risk tiers.  The model can accommodate up to 5,000 practices, 20,000 doctors and the 25 million people they serve.

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Medicare begins to penalize hospitals for readmissions beginning in October

Over 2000 hospitals across the country stand to lose approximately $280 million in Medicare reimbursement dollars beginning in October 2012, as Medicare begins to penalize hospitals for readmissions within 30 days of hospital discharge, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News.
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Wellness programs can reduce costs, but those with low income and those in poor health are less likely to enroll

A study of German wellness programs has found that while implementing wellness programs can reduce healthcare costs for those who participate, low income groups and those with “poor” health status are less likely to enroll, according to a study in the Commonwealth Fund.
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Deadline for Model 1 of the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Initiative extended

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have announced that the deadlines will be extended for Model 1 of the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Initiative, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation website.
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