Baker-Levy Smackdown, Part Two

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Paul Levy runs Beth Israel, an academic medical center (and a good blog in his spare time).

Charlie Baker runs Harvard Pilgrim, one of the state’s largest health insurers.

They’ve chatted online from time to time and their latest exchange covers a few of the hot topics in healthcare.

Charlie notes that people in Massachusetts use academic medical centers (read as higher cost providers) disproportionately more than other states. And that several of these centers are aggressively expanding.

Paul responds that many of these centers are effectively neighborhood hospitals, that many people perceive them as providing higher levels of care, and that there is not enough good quality, current data available.  He’s right, but we’d point to our 2004 report that compared quality and cost of care at community hospitals and academic health centers, and found them equal on quality but not on cost, as a good place to start.

I urge you to read the entire exchange. These are two healthcare heavyweights, and its a treat to have them in direct dialogue on these issues.