Behind the scenes, hospitals are transforming the way that doctors and nurses care for patients under the Affordable Care Act. The experiments that hospitals are trying out and small changes they’re making are less prominent parts the ACA, but Summa Akron City Hospital is showing off as an example of innovative implementation. Starting Jan. 1, the hospital will embrace a new business model. Medicare will pay the hospital one lump sum, upfront, for surgical procedures and any complications that surgery patients experience within 30 days of discharge. Currently, payments come based on procedures, not patients, so if a patient had complications and returned for another procedure, revenue grew. Under the new system, based on quality instead of quantity, the hospital could lose money if the patient needs to return, but would profit more from a successful procedure. As cardiologist Dr. Ken Berkovitz, explains it, “Everybody in the health care system gets rewarded for doing more, rather than rewarded for doing the right thing.” Meanwhile, some of the other seemingly simple changes are already making a difference; for example, did you ever think that a using checklist could be so innovative?
And change hospitals' business models, too.
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