News & Events

  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) just released an important review of the way the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) and CMS value physician services for Medicare. The report finds significant flaws in the data and processes used, echoing a recent Expert Voices essay by RUC researcher Miriam Laugesen.

  • NIHCM Foundation is now accepting letters of inquiry for the 2015-2016 funding cycle of our investigator-initiated research grant program. We are making a total of up to $250,000 available to be divided among four to five studies in the areas of health care financing, delivery, management and/or policy.

  • Upcoming Webinar on the Future of Telehealth in America

    Telemedicine is booming, fueled by promises of consumer convenience and better access for the underserved. Nearly half of employers will offer telehealth benefits this year. 

  • The federal government invests heavily in physician residency training—to the tune of $15 billion a year. But is this investment producing a physician workforce that meets our modern health care needs? 

  • With another presidential election on the horizon, the perennial debate over reforming federal entitlement programs has already begun to resurface. Policy prescriptions are bound to vary along the political spectrum, but failing to come to agreement and act will threaten our long-term fiscal health.

  • Hospital consolidation has dramatically increased in recent years, and studies have shown that hospital mergers and acquisitions result in rising prices, less competition and an increase in hospital negotiating power. Are health care “goliaths” increasingly dictating the prices and premiums we pay?

NIHCM

Expert Voices: Out of Whack: Pricing Distortions in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

Robert A. Berenson, MD, Institute Fellow, Urban Institute
 

Download the PDF  Request hard copies  |  Subscribe to Expert Voices

September 2010

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:

Sign up to receive the Expert Voices series by completing our online subscription form.

 

 
1225 19th St. NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC 20036 · Tel: 202-296-4426 · Fax: 202-296-4319