How do we slow down the increasing cost of healthcare?
If we can find the answer to this question, we will get future costs of Medicare under control and we can stop all the proposals to end this popular program as we now know it.
Buried in the Obamacare statute is a proposal for insurance companies to create Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) made up of doctors, hospitals and other medical providers who would be paid for keeping Medicare patients healthy instead of being paid a fee for services. The latter approach is widely criticized as an inducement for healthcare providers to perform more services than the patient needs in order to receive more compensation.
Will these ACOs work? Apparently Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is in the middle of such an effort with promising results saving 1.9% in medical costs the first year and 3.3% in the second year.
If these ACOs prove to be a success in getting Medicare costs to the federal government under control, everyone will win except those who would rather privatize Medicare and repeal all of Obamacare—including the 7 pages that encourage these innovative ACOs.