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By Richard Asinof
WASHINGTON – Dr. G. Alan Kurose, president and CEO of Coastal Medical, one of the largest group practices of physicians in Rhode Island, testified on May 16 before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Kurose detailed how Coastal’s efforts to establish patient-centered medical homes have begun to lower costs and improve care without cutting benefits.
“Our ultimate goal at Coastal is alignment of payment methodology across all payers, including Medicare, for every Coastal patient – so that patient care becomes blind to insurance coverage and every resource is available for every patient in our practices,” he said. “We have committed ourselves to reduce the total cost of care for our populations of patients by 5 percent by the end of 2014.
In his testimony, Kurose praised the collaborative efforts of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island to enter into new contracts featuring global payments and shared savings for avoided costs. He also praised the work of R.I. Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher F. Koller for his efforts to increase investments in primary care in Rhode Island.
The Committee, chaired by U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., also heard from Marcia James, director of Provider Engagement at Humana Inc., and James C. Capretta, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.