Mention medical innovation, and you might think of the biotech corridor around Boston, or the profusion of companies developing wireless medical technologies in San Diego. But one of the most important hotbeds of new approaches to medicine is … you didn’t guess it: Arkansas.
state has a vision for changing the way Arkansans pay for health care.
It is moving toward ending “fee-for-service” payments, in which each
procedure a patient undergoes for a single medical condition is billed
separately. Instead, the costs of all the hospitalizations, office
visits, tests and treatments will be rolled into one “episode-based” or
“bundled” payment. “In three to five years,” John M. Selig, the head of
Arkansas’s Department of Human Services, told me, “we aspire to have 90
to 95 percent of all our medical expenditures off fee-for-service.”