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Physician and Nurse Executives in High Demand

Friday, April 13, 2012

The national conversation about health care reform focuses relentlessly on cost reduction. While bending the cost curve is extremely important, improving quality is also essential -- but sometimes downplayed -- in today's reform equation. Grappling with quality challenges has attracted a new breed of health care leaders: physician and nurse executives.

Higher quality leads to better outcomes and reduced costs, according to the experts. That's why many organizations are forming Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), integrated networks of hospitals, clinics, physicians, and other providers held accountable for the quality and cost of care for a specific patient population, such as Medicare beneficiaries. ACOs provide incentives by offering bonuses when providers meet quality standards and keep costs down. For example, providers get paid more for keeping their patients healthy and out of the hospital -- just the opposite of the traditional fee-for-service payment system.

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