ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The most visible and controversial parts of Obamacare – the insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansion, requirements that individuals obtain coverage – are just pieces of the law and, in the long run, may not even be the most important pieces.
The way the nation pays for health care and the kind of health care the nation will pay for are undergoing a revolution, dictated by financial pressures, common sense and changes required by Obamacare (officially known as the Affordable Care Act).
“If you change the payment system, the delivery system will follow,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president of the American Hospital Association, who was in Albuquerque recently to address the New Mexico Hospital Association.
AHA board Chairman and Presbyterian Healthcare Services CEO Jim Hinton, who also addressed the NMHA, said there is a volume payment model of health care and a value payment model. Hospitals today, he said, are caught in the gap between the two approaches, still dealing with the one while trying to figure out how to implement the other.