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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Medicare Announces Plans To Accelerate Linking Doctor Pay To Quality

Outcome based medicine is now emerging as both a cost savings factor and an element to increasing the quality of care. Workers may be beneficiaries to this type of system should the workers' compensation process be adapted to provide for outcome based results. Today's post was shared by Kaiser Health News and comes from

Medicare is accelerating plans to peg a portion of doctors’ pay to the quality of their care.
The changes would affect nearly 500,000 physicians working in groups. The federal health law requires large physician groups to start getting bonuses or penalties based on their performance by 2015, with all doctors who take Medicare patients phased into the program by 2017.

The program is a major component of Medicare's effort to shift medicine away from its current payment system, in which doctors are most often paid for each service regardless of their performance. The current system, researchers say, financially encourages doctors to do more procedures and is one of the reasons health costs have escalated. The health law required Medicare to gradually factor in quality into payments for hospitals, nursing homes, physicians and most medical providers.

But the provision regarding doctors is considered the most complicated to enact, and it has encountered strong pushback.
Major physicians groups have been pushing Congress to repeal it, while some health policy experts fear the amount of money Medicare plans to use for incentives will be too small to prod doctors to improve their patient care.

Medicare had already decided that large physician groups -- those with 100 or more doctors, nurses, social workers or other health professionals -- will gain or lose as much as 1 percent of their pay starting in 2015. Those incentives would double to 2 percent the following year under ...

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