A senior official from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Tuesday said trying to find significant health care savings by cutting benefits is a “fool’s errand.” Dana Safran said the effort in her state has shown that greater savings can be achieved through the supply side of health services. She spoke at an event on Medicare costs and outcomes hosted by the National Journal in Washington. The discussion looked at ways to end Medicare’s current structure, which pays based on the quantity of services provided rather than the health of the patient.
Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change; Len Nichols, director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University; and Gail Wilensky, senior fellow at Project HOPE; participated in a panel, titled "Deep Thinkers."
Dr. Thomas Claffey, president of InterMed; Dr. Edward G. Murphy, professor of medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine; and Dr. Grace Terrell, CEO of Cornerstone Health Care; joined the "Physicians Panel."
Juliette Cubanski, associate director of the Program on Medicare Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation; Jay Khosla, chief health counsel for the Senate Committee on Finance; Meghan McCarthy, policy analyst at McBee Strategic and former National Journal health writer; and Dana Safran, senior vice president of Performance Measurement and Improvement at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; particpated in the "Response Panel."
Maggie Fox, senior health writer for NBCNews.com and Today.com, moderated.