Expert Voices: Out of Whack: Pricing Distortions in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
Robert A. Berenson, MD, Institute Fellow, Urban Institute
While there is near universal agreement that we need to move away from Medicare’s fee-for-service physician payment system, Dr. Berenson argues that in the short term we still need to focus on improving the current physician fee schedule. Not only are the value-based payment systems that most reformers envision still many years from widespread reality, the existing fee schedule prices will serve as the building blocks for some of the newer aggregate payment approaches. In this essay, Dr. Berenson offers thoughts on how to improve the system in ways that both address current payment system woes and serve as a step toward future value-based payment systems.
Other recent Expert Voices essays include:
- Maya MacGuineas, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and the New America Foundation, “Our Unsustainable Budget Situation” (May 2010)
- Jonathan Gruber, MIT, “Taxing Sin to Modify Behavior and Raise Revenue” (April 2010)
- William Vogt, RAND Corporation, “Hospital Market Consolidation: Trends and Consequences” (November 2009)
- Eric Jensen, Consultant, and Lenny Mendonca, McKinsey & Company, "Why America Spends More on Health Care" (November 2009)