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Medical society launches panel on doc-payment reform


By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: March 5, 2012 - 12:01 am ET
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The Society of General Internal Medicine has launched the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform, a panel investigating how physicians are paid and how financial incentives affect patient care.

The effort will be led by Dr. Steven Schroeder, former president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist, serving as honorary chair. Others on the panel include Dr. Troyen Brennan, CVS Caremark executive vice president and chief medical officer, and Suzanne Delbanco, founding CEO of the Leapfrog Group.

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The panel will meet over the course of this year and, in early 2013, it will recommend how to reform physician payments and assess potential impacts of payment models such as accountable care organizations, medical homes and value-based purchasing, according to a news release.

“As physicians have taken over greater financial responsibility for providing care, there is the need to balance the care of individual patients with the need to constrain overall costs,” said Dr. Harry Selker, president of the nearly 3,000-member SGIM, in the release. “This commission will recommend how we can ethically meet our patients' needs while also reformulating how and where we spend our healthcare dollars.”

The panel will be funded in part by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, California Healthcare Foundation and the Sergei Zlinkoff Fund for Medical Education and Research.

Last year, the American Academy of Family Physicians convened a primary-care valuation task force charged with reassessing the value of primary-care services. That panel will present its findings to the AAFP board later this week.


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