Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Baucus addresses physician payment changes

Even before lawmakers started the debate, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus already revised his healthcare bill, incorporating dozens of the 564 amendments proposed.

Baucus also addressed physician payments. In his opening remarks yesterday he said: “On one point, I want to acknowledge up front that we did not do as much to correct the payment of doctors under the incredibly misnamed "Sustainable Growth Rate." The SGR needs to be fixed permanently. I look forward to going further as the bill progresses through the process.”

His changes to the bill don’t include a long-term solution to the SGR, but it does at least appear to be among the items on the table for discussion.

UPDATE: The bill now also includes a provision that would incorporate a quality metric into determining how physicians are paid for treating Medicare patients, according to MedPage Today. By 2015, low-value care would be penalized, and by 2017, all docs would be paid based on quality-of-care factors. HHS would still have to define those quality factors.

1 comment:

  1. Pay primary care as fee for service and capitate specialists. That will save billions!