ObamaCare architect: Changing how we pay doctors and hospitals will reduce health care costs

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act, joined the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo to discuss what he described as a long-term affordability problem in health care.

“I actually prepared, the President [Trump] has seen, a memo with about nine or ten things that can be done that could directly address this problem of cost control,” he said.

Emanuel said one of the most important things impacting the cost control of health care is changing how doctors and hospitals are paid.

“Right now, we pay them a fee for service every time they do something,” he said. “They remove a prostate for suspicion of prostate cancer. They do a procedure on the knee, they get paid.”

The Fox News contributor suggests creating a “bundle payment” system that includes all surgical fees, such as operating room cost, anesthesiologist fees and recovery time, would add efficiency to the system and remove unnecessary care.

“Put it in one fee, give it to the doctors and hospitals and say, ‘guys figure out how to make this more efficient,’ that actually works remarkably well,” Emanuel said.

Emmanuel noted that under the Obama administration, 50 percent of Medicare fee-for-service payments will be tied to alternative payment models (APMs) by 2018.

“If they made private insurance companies do it, private insurance companies who get contracts with the government - through the exchanges, through TRICARE, through the federal employee health benefits - that they have to do it, you would have a big push in the right direction,” he said.