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By Greg Sheff, M.D.
I was fortunate to be one in a group of primary care physicians who met with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst this February to discuss possibilities of payment reform in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the private insurance market. This meeting comes on the heels of the introduction of two major pieces of legislation, Senate bills 7 and 8. These bills would implement a host of pilot projects to test bundled payments, payments based on episodes of care, and quality incentives. It continues the positive momentum the state needs to move us away from a fractured health care system into one that provides the right care for Texans.
The unrelenting march of increasing health care costs is unsustainable, both for Texas and for the nation. Payment reform that aligns physician and hospital incentives with our society’s goals—affordable, coordinated, evidence-based, quality-measured care—is critical to rein in health care costs. The patient-centered medical home, driven by a strong primary care workforce, is a proven cost-effective method for delivering this coordinated and integrated care.more