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Washington Highlights

Senate Committee Looks At Delivery System Reform Progress

May 18, 2012—The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee May 16 held a hearing, led by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.),  titled, “Identifying Opportunities for Health Care Delivery System Reform: Lessons from the Front Line,” which looked at delivery reform progress made in the private sector since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152). 

Sen. Whitehouse, in his opening statement, pointed to delivery reforms that focus on five priority areas: “payment reform, primary and preventive care, measuring and reporting quality, administrative simplification, and health information technology.” He continued, “These priority areas should not and do not stand alone and apart from each other. Rather, progress in each area will influence and be influenced by progress in the other areas in a manner that can drive virtuous cycles of improvement in care, efficiency and delivery, transparency and information, and reduction in costs.”

Alan Kurose, M.D., President and CEO, Coastal Medical in Providence, R.I., presented to the committee examples of how his organization used the medical home demonstration project as a starting point for creating delivery reforms. He said that the crux of the project’s success has been the integration of electronic health records and nurse care managers by “coordinating patient care and engaging patients in managing their own health.”

Sens. Whitehouse, Al Franken (D-Minn.), and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) spoke about ACA delivery reforms coming out of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and health care innovation awards, in which many AAMC members are participating [see Washington Highlights, April 13, and Washington Highlights,  May 11].

Additional witnesses included: Marcia James, Director of Provider Engagement, Humana, and James C. Capretta, Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center.


Len Marquez
Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-862-6281


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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