Blues plans suggest enacting medical liability reform, other changes

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 17, 2011

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The federal government should adopt a number of reforms designed to put the patient at the center of health care, according to 27-page plan released Oct. 4 by the BlueCross BlueShield Assn. called "Building Tomorrow's Healthcare System: The Pathway to High-Quality, Affordable Care in America."

The report includes four categories of recommendations with a total of 20 specific suggestions, including protecting physicians and other health professionals from noneconomic damages awarded in medical lawsuit judgments if they follow practice guidelines. Other recommendations include increasing pay for primary care and care coordination, expanding wellness initiatives in schools, and aligning federal health system reforms with those by the private sector. The Dept. of Health and Human Services has begun several initiatives related to the plan's recommendations.

"We need to put the patient back in the center of health care, and this is going to take a significant collaborative effort between both public and private sectors," said Scott P. Serota, president and CEO of the BlueCross BlueShield Assn. The report is available online (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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