Wisconsin Town Offers Low Cost, Quality Care Model

A Wisconsin clinic offers a better model that provides high-quality care and saves the federal government money. CQ HealthBeat reports on the Marshfield Clinic where nurses are readily available, doctors offer coordinated care to manage chronic conditions, and staff follows best practices based on convincing data.

"Medicare officials reported in August that Marshfield was one of just two physician groups to earn bonus payments in all three years of the Medicare test program, which is known as the Physician Group Practice Demonstration (the other was the University of Michigan Faculty Group Practice)," according to CQ. "Marshfield, which cares for 35,927 Medicare enrollees in the program, calculates that it has saved Medicare about $48 million over the three-year period. Marshfield and other participants get to keep about 80 percent of the money they save Medicare, with Medicare trust funds keeping 20 percent of the savings. But if Marshfield-style care seems like a fantasy come true for a nation in desperate need of retooling its health care system, the notion that health overhaul legislation will push the country hard in that direction is but a pipe dream, said a consultant familiar both with national politics and the health care marketplace" (Reichard, 9/14).

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