Toasting the Indisputable

There has been much ado made this week over the one year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act.  And, just as was the case a year ago, controversy continues to rage over health reform.  Polls show the public continues to be divided on the issue and Congress is in a partisan deadlock over what the next steps should be in, depending on your point of view, ACA implementation, repeal or defunding.

This post isn’t about the controversy or the debate.

Instead, I want to call attention to one of the indisputably positive provisions of the health reform measure.  This week, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), created through the Affordable Care Act, launched its new website.  It’s more than just an informational site.  In fact, it’s a portal through which all participants in the healthcare system can submit ideas on how to improve U.S. healthcare to improve both quality and cost-effectiveness.  That’s the purpose of CMMI — to test new ideas aimed at providing better patient care in a more sustainable way.  It’s one of the aspects of health reform that, I believe, should be preserved and utilized to the fullest extent.

In fact, members of the Healthcare Leadership Council have already provided several examples of practices, tools and technologies that are, in fact, addressing both the quality and affordability of care.  We provided these to CMS administrator Don Berwick in the form of our HLC Value Compendium.  We’re working on an expanded volume of that compendium now with more metrics-supported case studies, as well as a Wellness Compendium with information on how HLC member companies and organizations are promoting better health and preventing disease.

The controversy over health reform will undoubtedly continue to rage on for some time.   Let’s just keep the quest for ideas on how to improve our healthcare system outside of the firing zone.