Congress could improve the newly created Medicare prescription drug benefit by applying the lessons of welfare reform, according to an excellent new article by Paul Barringer.

In American Outlook, the Hudson Institute’s quarterly journal, Mr. Barringer lays out what made welfare reform successful:

Pay for performance: bonuses for performing well across a spectrum of quality measures.

● Encouraging partnerships with local organizations and key players.

● Administrative flexibility.

● Block grant approach to finances.

● Emphasizing evidence-based practices.

In a great example of out-of-the-box thinking, Paul Barringer makes a thoughtful, persuasive case for applying these same reforms to make the Medicare drug program more beneficial for seniors and taxpayers.

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An expert on Medicaid, Medicare, and health reform, Kip Piper, MA, FACHE, is a consultant, speaker, and writer. Kip Piper advises health plans, hospitals and health systems, state Medicaid agencies, life sciences firms, healthcare associations, and investment firms. With 30 years’ experience, Kip is a senior consultant with Sellers Dorsey, top specialists in Medicaid finance and policy. Kip is also CEO of Medonomics, Inc.a nonprofit research organization dedicated to improving healthcare value and decision making, and president of the Health Results Group, LLC, strategic advisory firm. For more, visit Follow on Twitter @KipPiper, Google +, Facebook and connect on LinkedIn.