In his latest New York Times "Opinionator" column, Ezekiel Emanuel details Arkansas' surprising plan to end fee-for-service medical payments within 3 to 5 years in favor of a statewide system of bundled payments. It is, he notes, an odd pioneering effort for a state "that has the sixth-highest poverty rate in the country and ranks near the bottom in everything from the percentage of pregnant women getting prenatal care and the infant mortality rate to obesity." It does have, however, "a governor who understand the issues very well" and "doctors and hospitals who -- faced with a State Legislature resistant to raising taxes, an imminent shortfall in state Medicaid funds and the threat of imposed managed care -- agreed to support the scheme."
Emanuel, an MD and former White House health advisor, is Penn's Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy.
©2013 Leonard Davis Institute