“There are two ways to save money,” Berwick told the journalists meeting. “One is to cut and the other is to improve.” He cited hospitals that have dramatically reduced patients’ bed sores and another that adopted efficiency steps from Toyota to save millions of dollars while also delivering better care. “The aim is to make the best the norm,” he said.
Berwick said the health law provides other tools to improve health care quality and delivery. These include accountable care organizations, in which doctors and hospitals coordinate patient care, and the newly created Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to “nurture invention” that will lower costs and raise quality.
He also pointed to a patient safety initiative the Obama administration announced this week to reduce preventable hospital-acquired infections and complications. It could save 60,000 lives and cut Medicare costs by an estimated $50 billion over 10 years, officials estimated.
Berwick is an internationally recognized expert on patient-centered health care. With Berwick’s recess appointment, conservatives immediately swung into campaign mode, cherry-picking statements he has made over the course of a long and distinguished career to portray him as a wild-eyed rationing socialist. That’s the sum total analysis of Berwick and the cost-cutting measures in the PPACA. Two statements, two cites.
Conservatives are fighting tooth and nail in Congress to defeat every existing and real mechanism to reduce Medicare costs while shouting “hey, look over here!” and shoving Paul Ryan onto the stage, where Ryan waves a piece of paper around to convey URGENCY and FISCAL CONCERN.
It’s a kindergarten-level con. And, they’ve worked this kindergarten-level con successfully since they gained a majority in the US House.