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Goldsmith Takes Aim at ACO’s, Suggests Alternatives

In the January 2011 issue of Health Affairs, Jeff Goldsmith suggests that the federal government’s ACO program (Shared Savings Program) is headed for trouble, and the program’s failure will have significant adverse impacts in increasing employer and health plan costs. His paper proposes an alternative, flexible contracting strategy for private insurers that strengthens primary care and promotes both competition and choice in specialty services such as cancer treatment, heart care and other expensive hospital based services. Read this widely cited analysis through this link.

Goldsmith on Hospital Management’s Bandwidth Problem

In the November edition of Hospitals and Health Networks online, Jeff Goldsmith argued that the reflexive response of hospital managements to health reform- accelerated merger and acquisition activity- will compete for management time and resources with the essential tasks of reshaping healthcare and improving its quality and safety. Read this article.

Highly Recommended: Charles Kenney’s New Book on Virginia Mason Clinic’s Clinical Transformation

In November, Charles Kenney, former healthcare writer for the Boston Globe, published a book entitled Transforming Health Care: Virginia Mason Medical Center’s Pursuit of the Perfect Patient Experience(CRC Press, New York, 2010). This book recounts how Virginia Mason Clinic, a 400 person multi specialty group, used Toyota’s Lean Production System to reshape health care in their hospital and clinics, and improved both patient safety and the care experience. It was hard work with a big payoff. Read Jeff Goldsmith’s blog on this subject in February Health Affairs blog.

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