Tag Archive for medicare

Can Accountable Care Organizations deliver low-cost, high-quality care?

If you are a healthcare professional, you have likely heard of “accountable care organizations” or “ACOs.” If not, here are the basics of this key piece of the healthcare legislation.

Today, most hospitals and doctors work independently, which some claim can drive up costs and compromise quality. ACOs were conceived to promote coordination and cooperation among providers with the intention of boosting the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries and cutting costs.

It works like this: Your organization is paid to cover the cost of care for Medicare beneficiaries in a given area, and if you are able to meet quality and cost-saving targets, you earn financial rewards for doing so. It’s an idea that grew out of research conducted by Dr. Elliot Fisher as part of his Dartmouth Atlas Project, a 30-year investigation into the variations in care across the country.

A few healthcare systems around the country are already exploring the possible benefits of ACOs, including two competing hospitals in Omaha, Nebr., and a large hospital system and health insurer in Louisville, Ky.

While shared savings programs and ACOs for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are an important parts of the new health reform law, antikickback laws, antitrust laws, and other federal rules are proving a challenge as government agencies seek to write the rules for ACOs.

The legislation calls for ACOs to roll out by January 1, 2012. To learn more about ACOs and which organizations are eligible, check out the Q&A from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Till next time,

Preparing for aging boomers includes medical language translation

We all know America’s baby boomer generation is reaching the time when they will become eligible for Medicare benefits. This is true for Medicare-eligible LEP populations as well. Reaching this important market sector requires, and in many states demands, translating into their native language.

Medicare Marketing Strategies 2009 is geared to help healthcare professionals address new regulations, while growing and retaining market share. Among the presentations, Francisco Garbayo, Director of Emerging Markets and Corporate Performance with Regence Group, a long-standing viaLanguage customer, will discuss “Medicare Marketing to the Latino Population.”

The Regence Group won the 2008 “Best of Blues” award for their marketing program nationally,  so Francisco is sure to have some great ideas to share.

The conference will take place March 24-26, 2009, at the Holiday Inn Crystal City, Washington, DC. We look forward to seeing you there!

Nancy Pautsch
Strategic Account Executive