How to Profit from the Transformation of Medicare

Accountable Care Organizations could fundamentally change how Medicare does business.

Mar 16, 2014 at 6:30PM

One of the most game-changing new strategies in health care promoted by the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is the introduction of value-based health care. This marks a critical shift from the current fee-for-service system, in which providers are paid for each test and procedure, toward a system that rewards providers based on patient health outcomes.

The law's architects hope that this shift will both improve the quality of care and reduce ballooning Medicare costs. With the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services reporting that medical errors and general "bad care" contributed to over 180,000 Medicare deaths in 2010, pressure has been building to produce a fix.

Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, are the centerpiece of Obamacare's strategy for bending the Medicare cost curve and hopefully improving patient health outcomes. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, recently released data from the first year of the ACO program. Given Medicare's size and pricing power, the results of the Medicare experiment with ACOs may fundamentally transform the U.S. health care system.. On this Friday's episode of Market Checkup, Motley Fool health care analysts David Williamson and Michael Douglass discuss the results and how investors can best profit from this health care megatrend.

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David Williamson owns shares of UnitedHealth Group. Michael Douglass has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends UnitedHealth Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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