This is The Checkup, our weekly series about how healthcare is changing in Maryland. One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act is to change incentives for providers of healthcare, so economic rewards would be more attached to keeping patients well than to the number of tests, treatments, and procedures performed on those patients.
Maryland may have more at stake than any other state as these incentives change, because Maryland just negotiated a new deal with Medicare about how hospitals will be paid. The state will set a “global budget” for each hospital. That's a set amount of money that hospitals will receive each year, no matter how many times patients are readmitted, no matter how many procedures are performed. That gives hospitals a huge incentive to keep patients well and out of the hospital and when patients do need to be admitted, not to keep them any longer than necessary. This new system of incentives is creating big changes not only for hospitals but for nursing homes or “skilled nursing facilities.”
To give us an inside view how these new incentives are being worked out right now, Sheilah Kast talks with Carmela Coyle, head of the trade association of hospitals, the Maryland Hospital Association, and Joe DeMattos, who runs the trade association of nursing homes, the Health Facilities Association of Maryland.
Our series ‘The Checkup: How Health Care Is Changing in Maryland’ is made possible by grants from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the Baltimore Association of Health Underwriters, and HealthCare Access Maryland.”