Joined by Representatives Walz and Kind and Senators Franken and Klobuchar, US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today toured Mayo Clinic. During her tour, Mayo CEO John Noseworthy shared with Sebelius the patient-centered model Mayo employs to ensure affordable, quality care is available to its patients.
The congressional delegation fought to ensure that as part of the new health reform law Medicare will move to a payment formula for physicians that saves tax dollars by incentivizing the high-quality, low-cost care Mayo provides.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided funding for the Beacon Communities pilot project, which supplements efforts established in the health reform law. Mayo Clinic was one of 15 sites announced in May, receiving more than $12 million to invest in health information technology, which will create jobs in southern Minnesota. The project will improve the quality of care and reduce administrative costs by expanding providers' access to electronic health information, which will create cost savings through efficiency gains. Noseworthy and the Executive Director of Mayo's Health Policy Center Jeff Korsmo detailed for Sebelius how the funding will be used to strengthen the network that connects Mayo with other providers, public health departments and government agencies, increasing efficiency in the system.
Dr. Noseworthy thanked Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration for their efforts to provide insurance coverage to all Americans and especially their efforts to pay for value in health care. Dr. Noseworthy and Mayo Clinic pledged to work closely with the Secretary to extend the pay for value concepts and improve the patient care delivery systems to better care for all patients.
"I appreciated the opportunity today to see Mayo Clinic's innovative programs to improve quality and reduce costs in action," said Secretary Sebelius. "Initiatives like the Beacon Community health IT pilot project, and Mayo's coordinated care model to bring down costs and improve health, shows providers across the country what is possible. The Affordable Care Act will help to spread high-quality, low-cost models like these throughout the country to create the kind of quality, cost-effective health system that every American deserves."
"Mayo Clinic is a national leader in using health information technology to reduce cost, give better care to patients, and spur the growth of our local economy," said Walz. "As we crafted the health reform law, Mayo's model was held up as the gold standard in patient care and cost savings. The new law incentivizes other providers to strive to reach Mayo's benchmark and gives Mayo good reason to continue to innovate through the Beacon Communities program, bringing future saving to the health care industry."
"The Mayo Health System is a national leader in providing quality cost-effective care and is a model for health care providers across the country," said Rep. Ron Kind. "The health care delivery system employed by the Mayo Clinic and system hospitals in western Wisconsin served as an invaluable model during the health care debate."
"Today Secretary Sebelius saw first-hand why the Mayo Clinic is a national model for delivering high-quality, efficient health care," said Klobuchar. "The leadership of the Mayo Clinic throughout the health care reform debate helped us to include key provisions that will reduce costs and reward quality care. Mayo is already a leader in health information technology, and the Beacon Communities program will help them continue to use innovation and technology to create jobs and improve patient care.
"The leadership role the Mayo Clinic played during the health reform debate was critical in establishing the concept of "paying for value" as a model to strive for nationally. I expect that Mayo will continue to be an invaluable resource during the implementation of health reform," said Sen. Franken. "Their drive for innovation and improvement makes them an ideal recipient for the Beacon grant. It allows Mayo to create much needed jobs in Minnesota and lay the groundwork for an entirely new industry of health information technology-a field Mayo is already a leader in."
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law March 23, 2010 by President Obama. The groundbreaking legislation will expand health insurance to millions of Americans while putting an end to the worst insurance industry practices and incentivizing health care providers to adopt the top-notch care models employed by Mayo Clinic and other leaders in the industry. More information about the law is available at www.healthreform.gov.