KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Berwick Weighs In On Dispute Over ACO Quality Standards

Also, the Medicare Newsgroup reports that industry players are cautiously upbeat about the potential of accountable care organizations to improve quality and lower costs.

WBUR: Berwick Weighs In On Despute Over Medical Quality Standards
Medicare's Pioneer ACOs are arguably leading the most important experiment under the Affordable Care Act. ... Berwick, who is also busy helping Britian’s National Health Service recover from an “enormous illness”, offers the Pioneer ACOs some guidance. “As you work through solutions, stay on the high road. And then, try to get to a platform where the discussion is not, will we play or not, but can we work this through at a technical level" (Bebinger, 3/21).

The Medicare Newsgroup: Industry Players Express Cautious Optimism on ACO Potential
Providers, researchers and industry stakeholders expressed simultaneous hopefulness and skepticism about whether ACOs will achieve their goal of improving quality while lowering costs, on Wednesday, March 20 at the National Press Club during the free-wheeling discussion held by The Medicare NewsGroup (Rosenblatt, 3/21).

In other news related to health care quality -

ProPublica: When Harm In The Hospital Follows You Home
A slip of the scalpel, an invisible microbe, a minute miscalculation. It's estimated that something goes wrong for more than one million people per year during a visit to the hospital. Some patients experience a full physical recovery. Some are never fully healed. but even if patients are lucky enough to physically heal, their lives may never be the same (Pierce, 3/21).

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