The CMS has issued a paper that will help frame debate on transitioning Medicare physicians and other healthcare professionals to a value-based purchasing program.
HHS under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 is required to submit a report to Congress by May 1, 2010, that recommends legislative and administrative actions for establishing a value-based purchasing program for physician services.
Value-based purchasing seeks to align payments more directly to the quality and efficiency of care by rewarding providers based on their performance on certain quality measures.
The "issues paper" outlines a draft proposal for a value-based system, including its objectives and design principles. The aim is to promote evidence-based medicine through measurement, public reporting and financial incentives, according to the draft. Other objectives include reducing waste to the system, encouraging effective management of chronic disease, and accelerating the adoption of health information technology through electronic prescribing and electronic health records.
The issues paper will serve as a discussion piece at a public meeting that will be held by the CMS on Dec. 9. Issues identified and discussed during this meeting will assist the agency in developing options for its value-based purchasing plan. The deadline for comments on the issues paper is Dec. 16. Comments may be submitted to [email protected]. -- by Jennifer Lubell