American Medical Association Issues Report to Member Physicians on Pay for Performance
The American Medical Association this week at a meeting in Atlanta issued a special report to member physicians to educate them about the trend toward pay for performance requirements as employers and health insurers "attempt to rein in health care costs," the Chicago Tribune reports. According to the report, the pay-for-performance trend is a "tsunami building offshore in a sea of stakeholder unrest, threatening those who are not prepared."
Medicare this year for the first time established pay-for-performance requirements for hospitals, and "physicians believe they are going to be the next target for Medicare's pay for performance initiatives," the Tribune reports. "It became apparent to us that pay for performance is not going to go away," Nancy Nielsen, speaker of the AMA House of Delegates, said.
Some physicians have raised concerns that pay for performance requirements will "merely reward doctors if they keep practice expenses down in ways that shortchange patient care," the Tribune reports. "This can be camouflage for cost containment," Nielsen said, adding, "Doctors have to make sure they are a part of developing these (pay-for-performance) initiatives or it will be rammed down their throats" (Japsen, Chicago Tribune, 12/9).