Blog | Tuesday, March 5, 2013

QD: News Every Day--Rid health care of fee-for-service payments, commission says

Fee-for-service payments should be eliminated by the end of the decade, concluded The National Commission on Physician Payment Reform.

The Society of General Internal Medicine convened The National Commission on Physician Payment Reform a year ago to recommend new ways to pay physicians that will ultimately improve patient outcomes but also rein in health care costs.

The commission's report concluded that new models could be tested during the next five years, with the goal of broad adoption by the end of the decade.

Among the commission's 12 recommendations:
--Increase reimbursement for evaluation and management services.
--Pay equal rates for the same physician services regardless of specialty or setting.
--Abolish Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate and cover the $138 billion of the cost of repeal entirely by reducing overutilization of medical services within Medicare.
--Improve the Relative Value Scale Update Committee to make the process more transparent, and make membership more representative of the medical profession as a whole.

The full report is online. Its chairman is Steven Schroeder, MD, MACP, of the University of California, San Francisco, and the former president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Among the many College Fellows represented as Commissioners is Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP, ACP's Executive Vice President.