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

t-effective, high quality care. The Commission's recommendations put us on that path."

After a year of deliberation, the high profile commission adopted 12 recommendations for reforming physician payment. The 14-member commission comprised physicians from a variety of specialties, public and private sector leaders, consumer advocates, and respected health policy experts, including Kavita Patel of the Brookings Institution and a former member of the Obama administration, and Troyen Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark.

Phasing Out Fee-For-Service
The Commission's recommendations provide a blueprint for phasing out fee-for-service and transitioning to a more value-based, mixed payment model over a five-year period. Initial steps include fast-tracking new models of care, such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes that reimburse doctors through fixed payments and shared savings, and adopting bundled payments for patients with multiple chronic conditions and in-hospital procedures and their follow-up.

The Commission pointedly noted that fee-for-service will remain an important mode of payment into the future, and that bundled payments and other fixed payment models are not a panacea; many of these models still pay individual physicians on a fee-for-service basis. As such, the Commission put forth several recommendations for recalibrating fee-for-service payment to fix payment inequities and reward care that improves patients' health.

Among the recommendations:

  • Increase reimbursement for evaluation and management (E&M) services. Technical services provided by surgeons, radiologists and other procedural specialists are reimbursed at a much higher rate than E&M services, such as preventive health care or an office visit to discuss diabetes management. This approach discourages doctors from spending time with patients, particularly
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Contact: Jemma Weymouth
jweymouth@burnesscommunications.com
301-280-5706
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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