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A Publication of WTVP

Federal healthcare reform was enacted on March 23, 2010 through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

During the first few years of the legislation, there are expected to be a number of demonstration projects and pilot projects regarding payment reform (moving away from the current fee-for-service payment system), incentives to provide better quality care, public reporting, transparency and comparative effectiveness research, to name only a few. Beginning in 2017, those payment and health delivery reforms will be implemented.

These new mechanisms, when enacted, will change the landscape of the health delivery system. The good news for the Greater Peoria Area is that these potential changes will likely come to our area years before they are implemented or required by the federal government.

I hope everyone knows by now that beginning July 1, 2010, Methodist will be included in the Caterpillar health plan. For the first time since 1992, all Caterpillar employees and retirees can choose Methodist for their services. No one needs to sign up for a particular plan in the PPO—all they have to do is choose Methodist. Methodist is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve our Caterpillar friends and neighbors again. However, that is not the only item of significance. The real benefit is the nature of the new relationship. The new contract is based on pay-for-performance, i.e. increase in payment only for reaching agreed-upon benchmarks for quality and service.

We are jointly developing benchmarks that the hospital, physicians and other components must achieve. These outcomes will not only be reported internally to Caterpillar, but will also be shared through Quality Quest for Health, central Illinois’ health information exchange. This is the first step away from fee-for-service.

The goal of this new relationship is consistent with one of the goals of healthcare reform: individuals will have information about outcomes, service, quality and, ultimately, price to make the best informed decisions about their health. Engaging individuals to assume greater roles in their own health is a critical element if long-term, healthcare costs are going to stabilize. As this information becomes more available and better understood, comparisons between local physicians and hospitals become more likely, resulting in a more efficient manner. Every patient we serve will benefit because of the new direction by Caterpillar.

Methodist is extremely thankful for the opportunity to serve Caterpillar again, but we are even more excited about the opportunity to lead and implement a new day in the delivery of healthcare in the Greater Peoria Area. This is a game-changer. iBi

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