Keynote Address: Diabetes Care-Where Is It Headed?

Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD, FACP, chief medical officer at Joslin Diabetes Center, believes that payment reform is the tool that will drive innovation and value in the healthcare industry.
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Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD, FACP, chief medical officer at Joslin Diabetes Center, believes that payment reform is the tool that will drive innovation and value in the healthcare industry.

As reimbursement methods change from the long standing fee-for-service model to a more value-based system, Dr Gabbay suggests that accountable care organizations will be the vehicles responsible for total costs of care, which he suspects will affect the way individuals think about diabetes care in the future. He adds, “Creating the right payment incentives is 1 piece of the puzzle in terms of driving innovation.”

“Many of us have been talking about this [reform]; we keep thinking it’s going to happen,” Dr Gabbay says. “I’m here to say for many of you that may not have caught these headlines, this is really happening and the federal government which has controlled most of the payment policies nationally has really put a stake in the ground.”

Dr Gabbay notes that this is the first time in the history of the Medicare program that HHS has set explicit goals for alternative payment, including explicit ideas regarding how exactly payment will be changed. He explains that most of all the costs associated with diabetes are the long-term complications—focusing on glycated hemoglobin, blood pressure, cholesterol, and early screening for complications can reduce the number of long-term complications and in turn reduce total costs of care.

 
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