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Report recommends states tailor health-care solutions to their markets

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A report by a blue-ribbon panel studying health-care costs says that states can craft customized solutions that offer higher-quality care at less expense.

The report “Cracking the Code on Health Care Costs” was released by the State Health Care Cost Containment Commission, a panel organized by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

The group, led by Mike Leavitt, former U.S. secretary of health and human services and governor of Utah, and Bill Ritter, former governor of Colorado, included representatives from insurance companies, hospitals,  physician groups, Medicare and Medicaid.

”Lost in much of the debate over health care is the surprising number of policy levers available to state governments to transform the current fee-for-service health care system into one that delivers substantially more value to patients,” Leavitt said in a statement.

Health-care solutions must be tailored to the distinct health-care markets of the states, the report says, noting the country has begun a period of health care experimentation. In Virginia, the Virginia Center for Health Care Innovation, launched in 2012, has created a communications network for health-care professionals and helped several health care systems seek federal grants for innovative projects.

The report recommends that states:

1.Create an alliance with purchasers, the medical community and other stakeholders to create a consensus and commitment for change.

2. Collect data to create a profile of health care in the state.

3. Establish baselines and goals for health-care spending, quality and other measures.

4. Use payment reforms to accelerate the trend toward coordinated, risk-based care.

5. Encourage consumer choice based on cost and quality and promote market competition.

6. Reform health-care regulations to promote efficiency .

7. Promote improvement in population health and personal responsibility in health care.

The complete report is available at :
In addition to Leavitt and Ritter, members of the commission include:
•Jay Cohen, executive chairman, Monarch HealthCare
•Michael L. Davis, senior vice president, global human resources, General Mills
•Lloyd Dean, CEO, Dignity Health
•Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
•George C. Halvorson, former chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente
•Joan Henneberry, former executive director, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
•Robert Reischauer, Medicare trustee and former director, Congressional Budget Office
•Rob Restuccia, consumer advocate and executive director, Community Catalyst
•Glenn Steele, president and CEO, Geisinger Health System
•Simon Stevens, executive vice president, UnitedHealth Group.

Raymond Scheppach, former executive director of the National Governors Association, is director of the project.

The project was funded by Kaiser Permanente and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.



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