A Medicare pilot program that financially rewarded physicians for meeting cost and quality targets achieved significant savings in the care provided to a patient population that is especially burdened by illness and costly health care needs, according to a new study. The research, which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Sept. 12), highlights the promise of new models of delivering health care, including accountable care organizations, that reward providers for coordinating and improving patient care—and that may slow cost growth in treating some of the sickest patients.
Lessons applicable to a system of care approach abound in this study. Children's mental health advocates are encouraged to extrapolate from studies like this that may focus on different patient populations - this will drive health reform in our world - count on it. The question is how involved will you be in designing similar approaches with children and families?