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MedPAC Calls for Pay Raise for Doctors, Hospitals

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 16, 2011

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a pay-for-reporting system for long-term care facilities must be in place by 2014. The commission recommends that quality measures should include process, safety and outcome measures and should be comparable to those used in other post-acute care settings. "The next step should be pay-for-performance."

In its executive summary, the commission says that these increases or limits "will not solve the fundamental problem with current Medicare fee-for-service payment systems – that providers are paid more when they deliver more services without regard to the quality or value of those additional services." It says payment reforms, such as imposing penalties for excess readmission rates and linking a percentage of payment to quality outcomes, such as those called for in healthcare reform legislation, "need to be implemented."

And, the commission says, "delivery system reforms, such as medical homes, bundling, and accountable care organizations, need to be tested and successful models adopted on a broad scale."


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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