Medicare Quality Pilot Program Planned
CMS on Monday announced that it will begin a three-year demonstration project in 2007 that compensates physicians for the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions, CongressDaily reports. The three-year program will begin next year in 800 small- or medium-sized practices in Arkansas, California, Massachusetts and Utah.
During the first year, physicians will be paid for reporting data on quality measures. In subsequent years, doctors will be eligible for annual performance-based bonuses of $10,000 per physician and up to $50,000 per medical practice. Following the November election, Congress is planning to address changes to the Medicare physician payment formula, and "[k]ey members agree that pay-for-performance measures should be included in a fix," CongressDaily reports.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Joe Barton (R-Texas) and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) have drafted separate bills that would offer bonus payments to doctors who participate in quality reporting programs (CongressDaily, 10/17).