Berwick Planning Medicare Test Sites For New Health Care Models

The Boston Globe: "Newly installed Medicare chief Donald Berwick, keeping a low public profile after encountering controversy over his appointment, is moving quickly behind the scenes to seed the US health care system with 100 to 300 sites to test new models of caring for patients. ... Already, health care lobbyists are seeking to influence how Medicare will decide which physician groups and hospitals to include in the first wave of pilots. ... Berwick is using a tool that Congress included in the new health care law: an innovation center with $10 billion to spend over the next decade in a quest for the best ways of improving care and reducing costs. The launch of the test sites by the end of 2011 is just a first step in changing the fundamental ways the government pays physicians and hospitals. Over 10 years, the innovation center's work is expected to save $1.3 billion on the $500 billion annual budget of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the sprawling federal insurance bureaucracy Berwick now leads" (Rowland, 9/6).

Related: KHN's Dr. Donald Berwick - A Resource Guide

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.