News Headlines Article

Coordination versus Competition in Health Care Reform
The New England Journal of Medicine

Many current proposals to increase the value of care delivered in the U.S. health care system focus on improved coordination — and with good reason. Badly coordinated care, duplicated efforts, bungled handoffs, and failures to follow up result in too much care for some patients, too little care for others, and the wrong care for many. A host of current reform efforts aim to reduce these inefficiencies in both public and private markets. These efforts range from penalizing hospitals with higher-than-expected readmission rates, to rewarding primary care providers when patients receive higher-value care, to providing incentives for the adoption of electronic health records. Accountable care organizations (ACOs) and bundled payments are designed to create monetary incentives for coordinated care. The hope is that coordination will improve value by ensuring that the right care is provided in the right place at the right time.