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Physician Payment Reform Gets Serious

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 8, 2012

As Steven A. Schroeder, MD, begins his work as chairman of the new National Commission on Physician Payment Reform, there's one thing he wants more than anything: that his group's findings don't end up collecting dust on a shelf.

The 13-member commission has been formed to examine physician payment structures, including the impact of the annual Medicare reductions to doctor salaries, and the focus of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).


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The doctor-centric panel boasts as honorary chairman former Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist, D-TN, who has bona fides as a heart and lung transplant surgeon.  Frist tells HealthLeaders Media he fully intends to be a working member of the group.

Other members include hospital medical directors, academic research specialists, and representatives of WellPoint, CVS, and the Brookings Institution.

The group will meet over the course of one year, and its goal is to produce a detailed analysis and recommendations on physician pay by early 2013. Launched by the Society of General Internal Medicine, the commission is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the California Healthcare Foundation, and the Sergie Zinkoff Fund for Medical Education and Research.

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