Mayo Clinic Chief: Obamacare Not Focused on Improving Quality of Care

Friday, 01 Nov 2013 01:22 PM

By Dan Weil

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While much of the talk concerning Obamacare now centers on the malfunctioning website, there's a bigger issue — quality of care.

"The Affordable Care Act is basically insurance reform — eligibility and access — and basically, they are going to pay for that by reducing the reimbursement" to doctors, Dr. John Noseworthy, CEO of the Mayo Clinic, tells CNBC.

"It doesn't modernize how we drive to higher quality care."

Editor's Note:
ObamaCare Secrets Revealed

What's missing is a link between quality of care and reimbursement, he says. Correcting that could lower costs.

"Right now, we're in a system where we're reimbursing volume of care, not quality and outcomes of care — safety, efficiency and so on. And that's where most of the costs are," Noseworthy notes.

The answer to the problem is a "stepwise approach to say, 'How do we measure outcomes? How do we look at readmission rates, accuracy of diagnosis, rate of infection?'" he asks.

"And then [let's] have a transparent database that patients can look at and say, 'Who gets it right more often and what contributes to that?'"

Meanwhile, Phillip Swagel, a public policy professor at the University of Maryland, says the most important test for Obamacare will be its long-term impact on the economy.

"The law is not likely to last if it imposes a severe drag on growth and job creation, or involves large costs obscured by . . . legislative gimmicks," he writes in The New York Times.

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Secrets Revealed

Related Stories:

Millions Facing Huge Costs, Lost Coverage Thanks to Obamacare Upheaval

Young Brace for Costly Obamacare Coverage, Premiums

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