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Commission issues plan to improve chronic care, reduce health spending

April 26, 2012

The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System today proposed that the Department of Health and Human Services select 50 to 100 communities to receive seed funding and regulatory flexibility to improve care and lower costs for patients with chronic conditions. "Under our proposal, local communities would seek to involve all chronically ill residents, regardless of health insurance status or source of coverage, in care improvement initiatives utilizing three evidence-based tools: payment reform, to encourage accountability; primary care, to improve care coordination; and health information technology, to promote information use and sharing," the commission said in a report on the proposal. The report also proposes doubling the median annual rate of improvement in quality metrics tracked by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and reducing the increase in per capita health care spending to the annual projected growth of the gross domestic product plus 0.5 percentage points. Together it estimates the proposals would save $893 billion over 10 years.