Letters to the Editor

Better medical care

Obamacare isn’t always referred to positively in some political circles, but for those interested in saving taxpayer money and keeping seniors healthier, there’s one aspect of the Affordable Care Act that shows great promise.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has implemented the Shared Savings Program, which is designed to cut expenses, eliminate needless duplication and promote patient health.

It recognizes that the current model of paying doctors based on how many tests and procedures they generate does little to encourage efficiency. The Shared Savings model rewards physicians for coordination of care, patient wellness and disease prevention. Doctors who belong to Accountable Care Organizations spend more time with patients, especially those at risk for chronic conditions. The program is tough, with 33 quality measures that must be passed to achieve 100 percent shared savings.

Doctors continue receiving their regular Medicare payments, but if they achieve good quality scores and save taxpayers money, everyone wins. Patients are winners, too, as they still choose their doctors. The result is better quality medical care and better patient outcomes.

Richard J. Lucibella, CEO and director, Accountable Care Options, Boynton Be