News & Events

  • New Chart Story on Health Entitlement Spending

    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?

  • HealthNow New York is sponsoring a program to bring professional athletes into schools to demonstrate the importance of physical fitness. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has released survey results showing that e-cigarette use is high among teens.

  • The Obama administration is poised to fundamentally change how we pay for health care in this country. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has set a goal that by 2018 half of Medicare’s payments to health care providers will be based on the quality of the care delivered, not the number of services provided.

  • Uncontrolled pediatric asthma accounts for over 600,000 emergency room visits in the U.S. each year and is responsible for the highest total costs of any preventable pediatric hospitalizations.

  • A new challenge to the ACA is headed to the Supreme Court on March 4th, and the decision will determine the fate of federal health insurance subsidies in the 34 states that opted not to set up their own exchanges.

NIHCM

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

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

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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.

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