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National commission calls for phasing out of fee-for-service pay within 5 years
Date:3/4/2013

Washington, DCThe National Commission on Physician Payment Reform issued a report today detailing a series of sweeping recommendations aimed at reining in health spending and improving quality of care by fundamentally changing the way doctors are paid. The Commission, chaired by former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president Steven A. Schroeder, M.D., with former Senator Majority leader Bill Frist, M.D., as Honorary Chair, calls for eliminating stand-alone fee-for-service payment by the end of the decade. The group urges a transition over five years to a blended payment system that will yield better results for both public and private payers, as well as patients. (See list of Commissioners here.)

"We can't control runaway medical spending without changing how doctors get paid," said Dr. Frist. "This is a bipartisan issue. We all want to get the most from our health care dollars, and that requires re-thinking the way we pay for health care."

The United States spends an unprecedented $8,000 per person on health care each year. Yet, despite this enormous investment, Americans' health pales in comparison to that of other nations. Fee-for-service, where doctors are paid for each service they provide, is the dominant method of compensating physicians, and a chief driver of the high cost and uneven quality of health care in the United States. Its skewed financial incentives promote fragmented care and encourage doctors to provide moreand more costly careregardless of its benefit to patients, according to the Commission.

"The way we pay doctors is profoundly flawed," said Dr. Schroeder, distinguished professor of health and health care at the University of California, San Francisco. "We need to move rapidly away from fee-for-service and embrace new ways of paying doctors that encourage cos
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Contact: Jemma Weymouth
jweymouth@burnesscommunications.com
301-280-5706
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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