Pilot programs fail

Defenders of the 2010 federal health care overhaul frequently argue that the law will save money through pilot programs that aim to reshape the way medical services are delivered. The idea is to identify policies that provide better health at lower cost. But a January report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) suggests such reforms will be hard to achieve. 

Looking at the results of 34 disease management and care coordination programs, the CBO found most did not reduce Medicare spending. “On average, the 34 programs had little or no effect on hospital admissions,” the report says. “In nearly every program, spending was either unchanged or increased relative to the spending that would have occurred in the absence of the program, when the fees paid to the participating organizations were considered.” 

The report also examined four “value-based” payment reforms designed to reduce spending through bundled payments and quality bonuses. The results there were a little better; one of the four programs reduced spending on services related to heart bypass surgeries by about 10 percent. But the overall results were still discouraging: According to the CBO, the other three reforms “appear to have resulted in little or no savings for Medicare.” 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • tipuasher||

    Nice do . I was in fact looking representing a post like this. Many thanks representing your help.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.