Feb 1, 2017

Time to scrap Obamacare’s value-based purchasing?

NIH Clinical Center / Flickr Creative Commons

Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard University penned an interesting post that wonders if the health care industry should throw in the towel on value-based purchasing — a program structured by Obamacare to reward high-quality hospitals and penalize lower performers. "Given its cost, this national program should be retooled or stopped," Jha writes.

The problem: Hospitals don't have a lot at stake with value-based purchasing, since only 2% of their Medicare pay is subject to the program. "Incentives that put 5% or even 10% of a hospital's Medicare payments at risk would ensure that hospitals pay attention," Jha writes.

He also says that if value-based purchasing were to continue, policymakers should track the right clinical measures, such as mortality rates, and make the program more transparent. It's unclear, however, if it would survive in a Republican replacement for Obamacare.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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George Floyd updates

A protester holds a placard reading "Covid kills People, Racism kills Communities" as they attend a demonstration in Manchester, northern England, on June 6, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Paul Ellis/Contributor.

Thousands are gathering for a day of protests in Washington, D.C., almost two weeks after George Floyd's killing. Protesters in Australia and Europe staged anti-racism demonstrations on Saturday as well.

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Buffalo police officers arrested after shoving 75-year-old protester

Photo: Mike Desmond/WBFO via AP

Two Buffalo police officers were charged with assault on Saturday after a video emerged of them shoving a 75-year-old protester while clearing a demonstration in the wake of George Floyd's killing, AP reports, citing prosecutors.

The state of play: Both officers pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault, and were released without bail. After the law enforcement officers were initially suspended without pay on Friday, all 57 officers on the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team resigned in a show of support for their fellow officers' suspensions.