Rachelle KhalafDirector, Public Relations and Communications
Houston (March 24, 2010) – On Tuesday, March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law new legislation impacting the healthcare industry, H.R. 3590. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic is currently reviewing the new legislation. It is likely that H.R.3590 will undergo revision over time.
Kelsey-Seybold Clinic does not endorse any particular party or political platform. We have been active along with our colleagues in the American Medical Group Association in communicating with our elected representatives on this important matter.
The paramount consideration in this entire process is delivery of quality care. In particular, we encourage the development of systems that reward quality over quantity, and deliver value instead of volume. Based on considerable objective evidence and our own experience at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, we believe that accountable care organizations (ACOs) deliver quality care at a total lower medical cost. There are decades of proven results with accountable care organizations (ACO's), including Kelsey-Seybold, Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Scott & White, and Geisinger Health System.
The current legislation calls for pilot programs to further study the merits of accountable care organizations. While this is laudable, incentives are the real need. Our healthcare system would benefit from incentives so that this successful model will continue to grow. Highly credible research by the Dartmouth Atlas of Health, the Hewitt Health Value Initiative and CMS' own MedPAR data demonstrates the value of accountable care organizations (ACO's) in delivering high-quality, cost-effective, coordinated care.
We are very concerned about the impact of H.R. 3590 on current Texas Medical Malpractice reform, as the federal legislation in its current form could jeopardize our state legislation. Tort reform in Texas has been in place since 2004 and has led to the successful recruitment of thousands of new doctors and specialists – with a 17 percent increase in Harris County alone. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic and our patients have benefited from tort reform through the recruitment of highly talented new physicians and the installation of our electronic medical record, funded by savings from tort reform. Medical malpractice reform in Texas is working and must be protected.
Our community, our state and our nation must find ways to deliver high-value health care. We believe the solution lies in the accountable care model. Kelsey-Seybold has a history of success in delivering quality care and managing costs. Quality care will continue to be our focus.
To learn more about the high quality care and value delivered by accountable care organizations (ACO's) accountablecarehouston.com.
Kelsey-Seybold Clinic is Houston's premier multispecialty group practice, founded in 1949 by Dr. Mavis Kelsey in Houston's renowned Texas Medical Center. More than 650 physicians and allied health professionals practice at 36 locations in the Greater Houston area. Kelsey-Seybold offers quality medical care in 65 medical specialties. The organization operates the largest freestanding Ambulatory Surgery Center in the state of Texas and offers state-of-the-art Varian TrueBeam and Varian Edge radiation therapy technology at a nationally accredited Cancer Center. An accredited Sleep Center, comprehensive laboratory services, advanced imaging and diagnostics, 24 onsite Kelsey pharmacies and one specialty pharmacy, and MyKelseyOnline, a secure web portal, are part of its comprehensive offerings. Kelsey-Seybold partners with major insurers to offer value-based commercial health plans. KelseyCare Advantage, a Medicare Advantage plan offered to Houston-area beneficiaries and affiliated with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, has achieved the coveted 5-out-of-5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for seven consecutive years.
Kelsey-Seybold has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the nation’s first accredited Accountable Care Organization and a Patient-Centered Medical Home. Kelsey-Seybold has many physicians in the Greater Houston area certified for excellence in diabetes and heart and stroke care by the NCQA. In addition to these recognitions, Kelsey-Seybold is home to a nationally accredited Breast Diagnostic Center and Endoscopy Center.
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