Interesting and at least a bit encouraging, the CMS Director Don Berwick references home health as an essential part of a coordinated, seamless, patient centered care team in his October 20th, editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine (“Making Good on ACO’s Promise). But, Dr Berwick leaves home health out of the definition of what will be required of applying entities to become Medicare’s first ACOs. Dr Berwick presents a vision in which Medicare beneficiaries “should find their care experience enhanced by a program that supports providers in engaging with their patients to deliver on the three-part aim: better care for individuals, better health for populations, and lower cost growth through improvements in care.”
Clearly Dr Berwick’s vision is one that we all of share. “Coordinated care,” he writes, ” is meant to allow providers to break away from the tyranny of the 15-minute visit, instill a renewed sense of collegiality, and return to the type of medicine that patients and families want.” In this brave new world of coordination and collegiality, it will still be up to home care to “sell” these organizing entities that home care has long understood and practiced patient centeredness, and that we have experience to spare and to share.
The Alliance is committed to helping us rise to Dr Berwick’s challlenge.
Find a full copy of the rule, here.