A little more than half of the healthcare professionals who participated in a Medicare pay-for-reporting initiative will receive a bonus this year, with average payments tallied at $600 per individual and more than $4,700 for group practices. The CMS says it would pay out more than $36 million to 56,700 health professionals, or 52%, of the 109,000 who participated in the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative in 2007. These payments to physicians for participating in the PQRI are a first step toward improving how Medicare pays for healthcare services, said acting CMS Administrator Kerry Weems in a written statement. We all can agree that the current payment system needs to be reformed to pay for high-quality care rather than continuing to pay for the volume of services. The voluntary program allowed for eligible physicians to receive a 1.5% bonus on Medicare charges by satisfactorily submitting quality data for the services provided between July and December 2007. Creating a value-based purchasing system is a critical way to improve our healthcare systems, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in a written statement.
CMS announces over $36 million in PQRI bonuses
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