I’m up in our nation’s capitol this week talking with health advocates from across the nation and I just got a chance to hear Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland speak about how his state is saving big money in Medicaid and improving care at the same time. How? Maryland changed the way it pays hospitals in its Medicaid program. Hospitals that have patients with fewer complications get paid more. The result was stunning. Hospitals had an incentive not to do as many procedures as possible, but coordinate health care better so people are healthier. Maryland has saved over $60 million and is saving more every year. In NC estimates are that reforms like this could save us $15-$30 million in our Medicaid program – and improve care.
Now that’s the kind of smart Medicaid reform we need and not this rush to cut, cut, cut.