A candid discussion of health care costs with the people in charge

I am enjoying reading this discussion about health care costs in which Paul Levy, President of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has responded to a blog by Charlie Baker, President and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Anyone can join in the discussion. Here's an excerpt…

Paul Levy: I sure would like to see the different rates that all providers get paid
by all the state’s insurers. But that won’t happen and cannot under
current law. We know, though, that the rates certainly are not based on
the safety, quality, and results of service offered. Perhaps you can
explain more how they are derived.

Charlie Baker: Medicare is most definitely the payment benchmark everyone uses to
“keep score” on how much they’re either paying or being paid. In a
perfect world, I suppose, we’d all pay something like Medicare for
everything (presuming, of course, that what Medicare pays makes sense –
but that’s a blog for another day). In reality, we pay different
percents of Medicare to different provider organizations – based on
their size, their relative importance, their brand and their market
position. Notice that I didn’t say we pay more for better/higher
quality, because we really don’t.

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