Reflex: October 19, 2011

Commonwealth Fund Commission on a high performance health system’s third national health care scorecard: U.S. scores 64 out of 100 on key performance indicators. “The scorecard finds that—despite pockets of improvement—the U.S as a whole failed to improve when compared to best performers in this country, and among other nations. The report also finds significant erosion in access to care and affordability of care, as health care costs rose far faster than family incomes.” Aaron’s comment: This should be no surprise to long-time readers of the blog, who remember my 10-part series on quality in the US health care system.

Private negotiations are a good thing, writes Jordan Tama in the NY Times. Tama makes the case that the Super Committee needs to have private deliberations to have any chance of reaching an agreement. Don’s comment: Public meetings of elected officials who are negotiating on difficult issues simply results in speeches being made for constituents. Just look at Congressional committee hearings. It would be great if we had open, public discourse where people shared their views with give and take and arrived at compromise and consensus, but this piece makes a strong case that this is not what happens and that private deliberations are key. h/t Wonkbook.

From Austin: I’m running behind and don’t have time to dig into this, even briefly, but I thought this item from Igor Volsky’s Morning CheckUp was an interesting development: California providers establish accountable care organization: “Eighteen teams of healthcare providers will share $20 million in grants from Blue Shield of California to form new partnerships aimed at delivering medical care more efficiently, company officials said.” [LA Times]”

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