Policymakers Look to Salary-Based Physician-Payment Models To Lower Health Care Costs

As debate about national health care reform heats up across the country, policymakers are debating potential changes to physician-compensation models.

Currently, most physicians receive payment on a fee-for-service model based on the treatments and procedures they provide.

However, health systems such as Kaiser Permanente offer physicians set salaries and incentives for providing preventive care.

In a California Healthline Special Report by Deirdre Kennedy, experts discussed the benefits and drawbacks of various physician-compensation models.

The Special Report includes comments from:

  • Jack Chou, president-elect of the California Academy of Family Physicians;
  • Mark Hall, professor of law and public health at Wake Forest University;
  • Robert Pearl, CEO and executive director of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Northern California; and
  • James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association.

Experts say the Obama administration is looking to Kaiser Permanente as an example for how salary-based physician-payment models can lower medical costs while improving patient care (Kennedy, California Healthline, 8/19).

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