Editor's Note: We realize that Conway is an Obama appointee with a vested interest in shining a positive light on the work of CMS. Bias noted. That being said, improving healthcare value means making things better for patients, something we can all get behind.

The View From (near) The Top

1 in 3 healthcare dollars is paid for by Health and Human Services, making them the largest payer in the United States. Under the previous administration, Former Secretary Sylvia Burwell outlined a three-part vision to move health care forward:

1. Realigning incentives to pay for better care

2. Developing care models that emphasize coordination and prevention

3. Leveraging electronic health records

In an article for the NEJM Catalyst, “Progress and Path Forward on Delivery System Reform,” Patrick Conway asserts that “Much of the work to date has been based on empiricism: developing models, learning what works, and scaling successes,” and that these nonpartisan goals will continue under the new administration.

It made us think of Dr. Chris Pelt’s comment that improving value is doing what’s better for patients. He said “Improving value is not just about saving money for CMS or the financial return to the organization. It’s about my ability to tell a patient, ‘What is most important is that by going home you are at a lower risk for infection, complication, readmission or reoperation.’”

Contributors: Mari Ransco, MA; Chrissy Daniels, MS