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Mayo Clinic Offers Perspective on Health Care Reform in New England Journal of Medicine

ROCHESTER, Minn., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mayo Clinic's perspective about how to get high-value health care is the focus of a Perspectives article in the New England Journal of Medicine, published online on Sept. 23, 2009, and in the print issue on Oct. 1, 2009.


"We must hold physicians and other providers accountable for providing high-value health care, defined in terms of both quality and cost," say Denis Cortese, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic and Jeff Korsmo, executive director of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center. To help achieve this goal, Cortese and Korsmo recommend basing a portion of Medicare payments to physicians and hospitals on value scores (measurable good outcomes, safety and service delivered at a lower cost), rewarding those providers who deliver high-value care and providing an incentive for others to improve.

In their essay, Dr. Cortese and Korsmo emphasize other key points to achieve true patient-centered health care reform including:

Coordinating patient care services across people, functions, activities, sites, and time

Reducing conflict of interest so physicians have less of a personal financial incentive to order unnecessary tests or procedures

"It should also be noted that researchers from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice have studied regional variation in health care quality and spending," says Korsmo. "They have documented that more care does not necessarily translate into better care. The research suggests that the United States could reduce health care costs by 30 percent or more if all regions practiced to the standard of the best-performing medical centers."

The article can be viewed online.

Note: The New England Journal of Medicine also published a Mayo Clinic survey on physicians' beliefs and health care reform in the Sept. 14 issue. It can be viewed online.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of "the needs of the patient come first." More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers and 46,000 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has sites in Rochester, Minn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. Collectively, the three locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to For information about research and education visit ( is available as a resource for your health stories.

SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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