Paying doctors for every test and procedure creates an incentive to do more tests and procedures. But finding an alternative payment system that works has proved tricky.
In Massachusetts, where rising health costs are compounded by the state’s universal health-insurance policy, the push is on to find an alternative to the fee-for-service system to help rein in costs. An imminent deal will be a big move in that direction, the WSJ reports this morning.
The deal, between the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield and a health system called Caritas Christi, will change the way the health system is paid for treating some 60,000 patients. Rather than being paid for every procedure, the system will be paid a fixed fee to take care of people whether or not they get sick. And they’ll be paid a bonus if they meet certain targets, such as keeping patients’ cholesterol low and lowering the rate of blood clots and pneumonia after surgery.
Capitation reborn? If this didn’t work the first time, why do we think it will work this time? The FFS model is broken… and expensive— no questions. But going back to a system of capitation is not the answer. The answer is NOT going to come from the Insurance industry… they will protect their shareholders, their profits and their top line salaries.
As Dr. Jay P says... “The faster we can pull our money out of the traditional health insurance game and start spending that money on purchasing healthcare as we need it, the faster the sick care industry will fall. Become true consumers by purchasing high deductible, catastrophic plans and watch what your money will buy you. Put the difference you save in monthly premiums in a bank account and build a buffer. Invest it and make interest on that money for when you get old and your health fails. Stop throwing it away to monopolies who care nothing about you and your health.”
Does this work for everyone…perhaps not. Will it control costs… you betcha!
What are your suggestions?