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Close A vision of future health care

I have seen a vision of the future of health care and it looks like... well, I don't know exactly what, because it hasn't happened yet. But it's intriguing for sure.

Local health providers were offered an opportunity last week to redesign the health care delivery system in ways that help lower costs, enhance quality and result in better outcomes for patients.

Concepts such as "accountable care community," "episodes of care" and "patient-centered medical home" were a big part of the discussion. But I'm going to skip, for now, an exploration of what these mean and focus on a different issue.

The individuals at last week's meeting - physicians, medical directors, clinic administrators, hospital executives, hospital board members - were given a glimpse of the view at 30,000 feet. What I want to know, and what I suspect many others want to know, is what the view looks like in a real, boots-on-the-ground kind of way. In other words, how it will affect the patient experience - because all too often, as policymakers start tinkering with the system, this is an element that's overlooked or misunderstood.

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Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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