I recently had the honor and privilege of being chosen by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS, don’t ask my why there aren’t two Ms in the acronym. I don’t know.) as a member of their first class of Innovation Advisors. I leave tomorrow to meet the CMS people and the 72 other advisors.
I got the position by applying in mid-November. My proposal was to blow up the current CMS documentation/coding/billing rules and start all over with a system that actually pays family physicians for the work we do. My project will be founded on two studies I conducted with my colleagues in the Residency Research Network of Texas. The first asked family physicians across Texas what patient care approaches they take that explains why areas with more family physicians have better health and lower costs than areas with high numbers of ologists. The second asked family physicians what they would change if they were allowed to throw away the current CMS rules and start all over. We’re still conducting interviews for this study, but I have a pretty good handle on what the major issues are.
I’m excited and nervous about this opportunity. I’ve bitched about the CMS rules for years, but now I’m thinking, “Oh crap. Now I’ve got to produce.”
The program involves some combination of CMS teaching my fellow advisors some things, us teaching CMS some things, and all of us learning from each other. I’ll make 3 or 4 trips this year and bring home lots of homework. Wish me luck!
The other exciting news is my book, American Health$care, is almost ready for distribution. It will be available in high-quality paperback and e-versions, probably in a few weeks. Here is what it will look like.
Please buy a copy and tell all your friends about how much you learned reading it!
And by the way, if the website looks funny for awhile, it just means I’m fumbling around trying to put links to my book on the site. It never works right the first time.