AHIP Medicare and Medicaid Conference Recap

The America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Medicare and Medicaid Conference took place in Washington, DC, this past week. Here are some of the highlights.

The America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Medicare and Medicaid Conference took place in Washington, DC, this past week. Here are some of the highlights.

A major topic at this year’s conference was financial incentives and other health reform initiatives that aim to improve affordability of care. Robert A. Berenson, MD, FACP, Institute Fellow, Health Policy Center, Urban Institute, spoke about controversial practices that should be reformed in order to improve the future of healthcare delivery. At the top of the list was the promise of shared savings that intend to reward physicians upon improvement. “Why are we using a rigid year-over-year savings model that penalizes the plan’s best physician performers?,” asked Dr Berenson. Later, Dr Berenson spoke to AJMC about the need for new healthcare delivery methods. Click here to view the video interview.

In order to understand which aspects of healthcare reform are worth investing in, there must be appropriate ways in which to measure success. This was the topic discussed by Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, chief medical officer of the CMS and director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, in the conference presentation “Beyond the Stars: The Future of Quality Measurement.” To read about the 6 components that are essential to transformation of healthcare delivery and ideas for measuring the success of these components, click here.

Another popular topic at this year’s AHIP Medicaid and Medicare Conference was Medicaid reform and expansion. Nina Owcharenko, director of the Center for Health Policy Studies and Preston A. Wells, Jr Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and Len M. Nichols, PhD, professor of health policy and director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University, tackled the topic of Medicaid reform. According to Ms Owcharenko, the Affordable Care Act did not include enough structural reforms, and there still remain many fiscal issues to be addressed. Dr Nichols focused on the coverage and tax issues related to Medicaid expansion, noting that there “needs to be coordination, management, rationalization, and the engagement of less fortunate individuals in their care—all of which is being accomplished by the ACA.” To read more about what Ms Owcharenko and Dr Nichols think about Medicaid expansion, click here. And be sure to check out AJMC’s video interview with Dr Nichols on the subject. For even more perspective on Medicaid, be sure to also access AJMC’s video interview with Peter Cunningham, PhD, in which Cunningham discusses how Medicaid delivery systems improve patient care.

Finally, Robert D. Reischauer, PhD, an economist and former director of the Congressional Budget Office, also presented at the conference, and led a workshop entitled “Medicare Reform in the Age of Deficit Reduction: The Premium Support Debate.” The workshop included several key speakers and covered a wide variety of topics, such as risk adjustments, fair competition, and premium support implementation. Click here to see what each speaker had to say. For more on these subjects, check out this AJMC TV interview, which features workshop speaker Joseph Antos, PhD, discussing the current challenges facing Medicare reform.

For even more coverage, check out our exclusive AHIP Medicare and Medicaid Conference portal.