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Tuesday, November 14th 2006

Pay-For-Performance Is Coming

Pay 4 Performance, the idea that physicians (and perhaps other health care providers) will be reimbursed based on quality measures (you get paid the more of your patients are immunized, or the more often you remember to ask your patients if they wear their seatbelts, etc.), is coming.

How do I know?

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt Told Me So

Health and Human Services oversees Center for Medicare Services, which oversees Medicare, which oversees a hell of a lot of this country’s health spending, which of course affects physician reimbursement.

The good Secretary suffered a terrible case of “foot-in-mouth” disease this week at the American Medical Association meeting in Las Vegas. There in front of thousands of physicians, and to what I believe was the ‘true’ astonishment of his staff, he said that Pay For Performance was inevitable and that it wasn’t really being implemented because it might improve physician quality and protect patients but instead was intended to cut physician reimbursement and thus health care spending.

Many, many physicians dismay the coming P4P push. Including Retired Doc (who thinks not only is P4P a bad idea, but is unethical) and DB over at Medrants.

I will be the first to admit I am more open to the idea but after hearing Secretary Leavitt, everyone should be concerned about the future and just how Pay for Performance will be implemented.