Donald Berwick wants you to forget about the current strife in Washington and get back to the basics: “better health, better care, lower costs”—the mission of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services borne by the Affordable Care Act, according to Berwick.
The administrator of CMS must have said that phrase 10 times before LeadingAge members during the annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The reason for his mantra went back to an emphasis on sustainability. “The healthcare system as it’s currently constructed is not up to the task [of being sustainable],” Berwick said.
The nation, as he sees it, has two choices to address this issue: either make cuts (“It’s the wrong way”), or improve care. He then stressed the importance of advances in health information technology toward this end.
His speech was mainly a recap of provisions within the Affordable Care Act and how they intend to reduce fraud and waste while encourage provider collaboration. (In other words: accountable care and payment bundling). “Can we achieve a sustainable system full of innovations? Yes, we can, but we can only do it together,” Berwick said.
“CMS is very much on your side,” he concluded.