Weekend Update

  • What an exciting Super Bowl! President Bush releases his FY 2009 budget tomorrow. The Washington Post reports that the budget will seek to freeze domestic discretionary spending and cut billions from federal healthcare programs in order to achieve a balanced budget by 2012. The budget likely will not be well received on Capitol Hill.
  • Speaking of Capitol Hill, Rep. Tom Davis (R Va) who chaired the House committee with FEHB Program oversight authority until the 2006 elections announced last week that he will not run for re-election this year. Rep. Davis remains the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
  • The Bridges to Excellence Coalition announced a medical home incentive program. According to Modern Healthcare.com,

    A definitive picture of a medical home has yet to develop, but its principles—as formulated by the ACP, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Osteopathic Association—involve patients having a personal physician who leads an integrated team of healthcare professionals providing coordinated acute, chronic, preventive and end-of-life care facilitated by information technology tools and based on a foundation of safety and quality improvement. Also, patients would have “enhanced” access—meaning extended hours and a secure electronic communication options—and primary-care physicians would be recognized and adequately reimbursed for the care management and coordination services they provide.

    Bridges for Excellence explains in its press release that

    Through participation in the BTE Medical Home recognition, doctors can receive an annual bonus payment of $125 for each patient covered by a participating employer, with a suggested maximum yearly incentive of $100,000. “Our research shows that patients who are well taken care of cost less,” said Francois de Brantes, BTE CEO. “The average potential savings per covered life would be approximately $250 a year.”