Healthcare Leaders Prefer Standardized Payments

71 percent of healthcare leaders support standardized payment system.  It seems as if the only way to control rising healthcare costs is to create a standardized payment structure.  This is the primary finding of the 22nd Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Opinion Leaders survey, which studied disclosure and pricing in the healthcare industry.  More than two-thirds of the 190 individuals who responded to the survey – fully 71 percent – said it is “very important” or “important” that “all payers use the same basic method of payment for rewarding quality and efficiency.”

Just 12 percent of survey respondents don’t believe that a standardized payment structure will impact the quality and efficiency of healthcare.  All groups of survey respondents strongly supported the perception of a common payment structure for private insurers.  Fully 72 percent of respondents representing academia and research institutes voiced support for the concept, compared with 79 percent from healthcare delivery organizations, as well as 77 percent form insurers and other health businesses.  A total of 54 percent favor the concept.

Commenting on the study, Louise Probst, Executive Director of the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition, saidWe all know the drill. The American healthcare system seriously underperforms when compared with the health systems of every other industrialized nation.  As a result, each year, large numbers of Americans are harmed or die unnecessarily.  In fact, since the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) executive summary to its landmark report To Err Is Human was published in the Journal of American Medical Association in September 1999, additional research has only confirmed its findings.  A decade later, the IOM estimate that up to 30 percent of all healthcare expenditures pay for care with little or no health benefit fails to shock. Experts now project that 40 percent or more of all spending has little or no benefit.  Meanwhile, the average cost of health insurance for a family of four has grown to more than $14,000 annually.”

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