Physician Payment Reform Gets Serious

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , March 8, 2012

There's no doubt the country has to change its funding for healthcare, with physician income a part of it, Schroeder says. "Our demand for care outstrips our ability to pay for it. That's what every country wrestles with. We have features that make us a real outlier.  We spend a lot, and people are concerned we don't have great value."


Schroeder continues: "if we move toward bundled payments or capitation, (we can look) at the ways we can maximize value, transparency and good conduct. Those would be the principles going in to our discussions, and can be modified as other members weigh in."

The commission will look at efforts to incorporate quality into the current pay system and assess the opportunities and risks of the healthcare payment configurations, such as those implemented in the ACOs, according to Schroeder. In addition, members will consider incentives and safeguards surrounding forms of physician payment that may maximize good clinical outcomes, Schroeder says.

"I am daunted by the charge we have, and hope we are up for it, because it is such an important issue," Schroeder says of the commission. "A lot of commissions I've been on and read about, a report winds up sitting on a shelf. We want people to say at the end of this that our findings really made sense and it's going to be helpful."

Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
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