Sen Max Baucus (D-MT) has recently kicked off a series of health care reform roundtables that focused on revamping America’s health care delivery system.

The roundtable series addressed improving the quality and efficiency of care through establishing value-based purchasing programs and strengthening the role of primary care, better managing patients with chronic illnesses, facilitating the use of comparative effectiveness research and other tools that support evidence-based care, reducing hospital readmissions, reforming payments to private plans in Medicare, and increasing transparency and reducing fraud and abuse in federally financed health care programs.

The discussion focused on ways to create incentives in the Medicare program. Panelists discussed strategies to promote best practices, eliminate waste, and facilitate provider collaboration regarding patient care through expanded health information technology, and advanced comparative effectiveness research. The Finance Committee focused on ways to reduce fraud and abuse in federally financed health care.

Roundtables scheduled in May will focus on increasing access to health care coverage and financing comprehensive health care reform. The House Ways and Means Committee plans to hold hearings on health care reform over the next several weeks. Legislative proposals are expected to be released in late May or early June by the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

[Source: American Physical Therapy Association]