Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said that a revamped CMS and a re-energized physician workforce would be byproducts of a sweeping effort to fix the nations fractured healthcare system.
Baucus, speaking to reporters in Washington, said that the agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid has become stagnant and clumsy. CMS is too used to implementing, theyre not that creative in design, he said. And we have to give them more flexibility, more powermake it more exciting to work at CMS.
The agency, which has been without a permanent director since Mark McClellan left in 2006, likely will shoulder a heavy load under plans to reshape how care is delivered and paid for in the U.S. Many experts believe that Medicarethe single largest healthcare payermust first be reformed before the private sector follows.
Baucus also said that a happier clinical workforceespecially among the ranks of primary-care doctorswould also come about from the reform effort. I envision a world where medicine is fun again, he said.
Baucus has said that primary-care doctors would be crucial to a reformed healthcare system and has hinted strongly that Medicare payments to that field would also be increased.