One key aspect of the federal health overhaul law is a transition away from a fee-for-service system, where hospitals and doctors get paid, for example, per lab test or re-admission. To help test new models under so-called Obamacare, 32 hospitals nationwide launched an alternative system called an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).
Results released today looking at the first year of the program show Dartmouth-Hitchcock as one of 18 hospitals that succeeded in lowering costs compared to a control group of Medicare patients.
While the future of the Affordable Care Act is unclear, some of the changes may be here to stay. President of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Jim Weinstein is focusing on the improvement of patient care over providing more care. NHPR's Dan Gorenstein reporting for Marketplace has more.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock President Jim Weinstein shows me the painting; it's a glass of orange juice, about half full. I've missed the point, says Weinstein. "It isn't half full or half empty. It's the wrong glass. And right now we have the wrong glass for health care." That's Weinstein's way of saying the $3 trillion health care system is broken. That the system is set up to reward more care rather than better care.