Burwell Says Payment Policies Next Push In Obamacare Implementation

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said on Thursday the Obama administration will focus on improving quality over quantity in the nation’s healthcare system in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court ruled earlier on Thursday to uphold the nationwide availability of tax subsidies that are crucial to President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, also known as Obamacare.

In a conference call with reporters, Burwell said the administration planned to push further on a patient-centered approach.

“Our vision is paying providers for what works, and incentivizes quality over quantity,” she said.

The system at the moment often pays per transaction rather than considering wellness as a factor, she added.

Burwell also said enlisting states that do not currently accept federal funds for the Medicaid health insurance program was important to increase access and coverage.

“We want to work with them as we know different states have different needs,” she said.

States that run Medicaid, which serves lower-income families, receive partial reimbursements from the federal government. Obamacare allowed more people to enroll in Medicaid and also gave states 90 percent to 100 percent reimbursements for new enrollees.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have currently signed up to the expanded Medicaid provisions.

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