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Mayo Clinic exec was at Obama speech, supports reform

Mayo Clinic’s Jeff Korsmo — executive director of the clinic’s Health Policy Center — was in the gallery at last night’s speech by President Obama and said the clinic favors a health care overhaul, said the Rochester Post-Bulletin.

“Overall, we support his call for health care reform. I think he showed good leadership on the issue. I think he did a good job on calling on both parties to pass meaningful reform,” [Korsmo] said.

The clinic, usually considered one of the top health care providers in the country, favors many of Obama’s proposal, including the individual mandate requiring people to buy insurance and the effort to prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

But Korsmo did note that Obama did not offer many details on his ideas for reforming the payment system. Mayo has been pushing hard to change how Medicare providers are reimbursed to make sure that it favors quality of care, not quantity of care. “We won’t really change the way we deliver health care unless we change the way we pay for it,” he said.

The Mayo Clinic is also opposed to a public health insurance option similar to Medicare. But Korsmo did say Obama seemed to be open to other ideas.

The clinic posted its official response to the speech on its blog, saying:

Mayo Clinic strongly supports President Obama’s call for health insurance reform and health care delivery reform, and agrees with the President’s position that the status quo is not acceptable. We believe that a bipartisan, collaborative approach is essential to achieving significant, patient-centered health care reform.

Mayo Clinic and the many organizations and individuals working with us in the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center are strongly in favor of reform of both health care delivery and health insurance. True health care reform is getting better results for the money spent. Better results for money spent is what we meant by high value health care: better outcomes, safer care, better service and at lower costs over time. And this will translate to better access to medical services for all Americans. We agree with President Obama’s focus on insuring all Americans and reforming the health care payment reform.

The blog item was posted at 7:43 p.m. last night, before the speech was finished, but I’m sure they had an advance copy.

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