Prescription to reduce health care costs

By WEEK Producer

February 28, 2013 Updated Feb 28, 2013 at 10:44 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- Bill Leaver wants to write a new prescription for health care providers.

The president and CEO of Iowa Health System, which operates Methodist Medical Center, said the age old fee-for-service model has to go in order to bring down the cost of health care.

"You will not control costs until you get away from volume as the identifier of how you get paid and move to defining value," Lever said. "As clinicians if you don't provide value you're not going to get paid."

Leaver was in East Peoria Thursday speaking to about 100 representatives of area health care-related businesses. Jered Wilson is with an insurance company.

"Its about finding the right provider-partner," explained Wilson, who works for Coventry Health Care. "That provider organization that can see into the future as to how these changes are going to impact both the way that they're going to deliver care and also the way that members experience care."

According to Leaver, health care costs will only come down when payment is based on three things; best clinical outcome, best patient experience and best price. He said those factors will also encourage competition among providers.

Cooperation between providers, such as sharing information from patient data bases, are also part of the model to reduce cost.

"Being able to look at a patient's care and find out what gaps are missing in their care. When we can identify those gaps and we improve their health that's going to lower the overall cost of health care," said Paul Wann of Optimum Health Solutions.

Leaver is convinced it can work but he stressed it must start soon because the current system is not sustainable.