While Republicans bitch about the healthcare website, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has introduced a number of new and potentially great ideas to make healthcare better.
- Quality metrics are being implemented that allow us to finally measure healthcare. Hospitals are comparing themselves and seeing where they are good, and where they can do better, in things like readmissions, and infection control
- Incentives are being introduced that encourage better treatment.
- Proactive approaches to healthcare are finally being encouraged. Patients are being encouraged to adopt better lifestyles, treat silent diseases like hypertension and diabetes, quit smoking, and lose weight.
And as this story demonstrates, a variety of projects are being tried to see the impact of changing the way healthcare is delivered. The Affordable Care Act has become an incubator of new ideas.
The ACA provides funding and guidance for a new way to approach health care. The Comprehensive Primary Care initiative is a program that involves about 500 practices across the country, in several geographic areas. Southwest Ohio/N. KY, New Jersey, Arkansas, Colorado, New York, Oregon, and Oklahoma have participating practices. Practices were selected based on a number of factors, including past willingness to participate in such things as NCQA quality recognition, and patient-centered medical home (PCMH) certification.