Wednesday, July 11, 2007

BLOGSCAN - When Fighting Wooden-Headed Reimbursement, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

On the Running a Hospital blog, Paul Levy describes how Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle tried to increase the quality and efficiency of its services for specific medical conditions, with prompting from health insurer Aetna Inc. We had posted about these efforts, which seemed to be one antidote to the sort of wooden-headed health reimbursement policies leading to higher costs and lower quality that we have decried. The problem with Aetna's and Virginia Mason's well-intentioned efforts were that they have hurt the Medical Center's bottom line, which is mainly a factor of the traditional, wooden-headed reimbursement policies of other commercial insurers, and of Medicare and Medicaid. It seems no good deed goes unpunished....

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