Richard Merkin Scholar Joins Legislators Discussing Payment Reform At Brookings

Forum explores next steps in Medicare Payment Reform

Nov 27, 2013, 08:00 ET from Heritage Provider Network, Inc.

MARINA DEL REY, Calif., Nov. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Richard Merkin Initiative on Payment Reform and Clinical Leadership and the Engelberg Center for Healthcare Reform at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, sponsored a forum exploring the urgent need for Medicare physician payment reform and next steps on November 19, 2013. (



The conference at Brookings included Rep. Michael Burgess, Vice Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, Dr. Mark McClellan, Director of the Initiative on Innovation and Value in Healthcare at Brookings, Merkin Scholar Dr.Darshak Sanghavi, Mark Wagar, President of Heritage Medical Systems and Dr.Farzad Mostashari, Visiting Fellow, Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. Numerous House and Senate committee staff members and other healthcare stakeholders also contributed to the discussions.

The Richard Merkin Initiative on Payment Reform and Clinical Leadership was established in 2011 by The Merkin Foundation and Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO of Heritage Provider Network. The initiative supports two full time scholars at Brookings to study ways to make critical policy changes replacing the current fee for service system, transitioning to new payment models and increasing leadership skills of clinicians.

"The innovations fostered by this important forum and the work of the Merkin scholar will help physicians improve patient care while delivering and paying for healthcare in an entirely different way," said Dr. Merkin. "It is this collaboration with policy makers in Congress and those addressing clinical leadership and payment reform that will enable us to achieve truly transformative change."

"We had a robust discussion on physician payment reform in Medicare, including perspectives from Congress, independent physician practices, specialists, and healthcare innovators.  We focused on the challenging but achievable path forward for improving quality while reducing costs in healthcare and how clinicians can lead in making it happen. We at Brookings are grateful to Dr. Richard Merkin for his support of our efforts and the Merkin Scholars at the Engelberg Center for Health Reform," said Dr. McClellan, Director of the Initiative on Innovation and Value in Healthcare at Brookings.

"As a physician organization with over 30 years' experience helping manage both quality and cost for our patients it was a privilege for the Heritage Provider Network family to be able to help with the facts, experience and dialogue at yet another on-point Brookings event," said Mark Wagar, President, Heritage Medical Systems, who led the discussion on opportunities and challenges for independent physician practices. "A key takeaway for us in this session is it was not just talk.  Elected and staff Congressional leadership from both sides of the aisle have listened to those who take care of patients, and were there demonstrating a commitment to constructive solutions for essential payment and care reform that can be acted on now and in the coming year."

"Clinician leadership will be critical as our nation moves forward with changes in healthcare payment and delivery changes. To assist with that change, we are exploring innovative ways to reach the 'silent' majority of students, residents, physicians, and other health providers though massive open online courses, or MOOCs. These present an exciting, huge opportunity to accelerate physicians' innovative spirit, and help with long term, sustainable changes in health care payment," said Dr.Darshak Sanghavi, Richard Merkin Scholar and Managing Director of the Engelberg Center for Healthcare Reform at Brookings.

"The opportunities and challenges presented in payment reform for independent physician practices are ones we are exploring in depth at the Engelberg Center for Health Reform ACO Learning Network. It is critical that independent physician practices be empowered to be successful in new payment and delivery system.  Provided with the right tools and supports, independent practices have proven that they can thrive in providing population health management and coordinated, patient-centered care at lower total cost," added Dr. Farzad Mostashari, Visiting Fellow, Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings.

The discussion included the need to provide payment stability, the current unique opportunity in Congress to abolish fee for service practices in Medicare, develop and incentivize new payment models and options moving forward.

Heritage Provider Network, Inc. (HPN) is on the cutting edge of the accountable care model of healthcare delivery: coordinated, patient-doctor centric, integrated health care systems that represent the future of health care in the United States. HPN and its affiliates operate in California, New York and Arizona providing high quality, cost effective healthcare to over 700,000 individuals and are dedicated to quality, affordable health care, and putting patients' wellness first.

SOURCE Heritage Provider Network, Inc.