Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicians agree Medicare reimbursement is flawed, disagree on how to reform it

Date:
October 25, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A national survey finds most physicians believe Medicare reimbursement is inequitable, but there appears to be little consensus regarding proposed reforms, according to a new report.

A national survey finds most physicians believe Medicare reimbursement is inequitable, but there appears to be little consensus regarding proposed reforms, according to a report in the October 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Across the political spectrum, there is general agreement that the cost of health care has risen to untenable levels and is threatening the future of Medicare and the economic well-being of the United States," the authors write as background information in the article. Clinicians account for one-fifth of health care costs, but because their patterns of use drive other expenses, many proposals for reform have focused on clinician reimbursement as a target to promote cost savings while improving care. Strategies that have been proposed include financial bonuses for meeting quality standards, financial penalties for providing substandard care, bundling payments for episodes of care into a fixed amount and the promoting of accountable care organizations.

Alex D. Federman, M.D., M.P.H., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and colleagues conducted a national survey of randomly selected physicians between June 25 and Oct. 31, 2009. Participants were asked whether, under the current Medicare reimbursement system, some procedures were reimbursed too highly and others at rates too low to cover costs. They then rated their support for several reform proposals.

Of 2,518 eligible physicians who received the survey, 1,222 (48.5 percent) responded. Four of five clinicians (78.4 percent) agreed that current Medicare reimbursement was inequitable. However, "there was little unity regarding support for physician payment reform proposals," they write.

Among the reform options, participants were most likely to support financial incentives for quality care (49.1 percent). "Actual experience with financial incentives to improve quality could have directly informed physicians' generally more positive views of these types of reimbursement mechanisms," the authors write.

Overall, 41.6 percent of participants supported shifting payments from procedures to management and counseling services, but there was even less consensus on this proposal. For instance, 66.5 percent of generalists supported it compared with 16.6 percent of surgeons. "As expected, those who conduct procedures were against it, and those who do more management and counseling were for it," they continue.

Most physicians from all specialties (69 percent) were opposed to bundling. Surgeons, who may have the most experience with this strategy, expressed the lowest level of support (15.2 percent). Conversely, most physicians (79.8 percent) supported increasing pay for generalists and only 13.3 percent opposed this strategy. However, few (39.1 percent) would agree to offset this increase with a 3 percent reduction in specialist reimbursement.

"Overall, physicians seem to be opposed to reforms that risk lowering their incomes," the authors conclude. "Thus, finding common ground among different specialties to reform physician reimbursement, reduce health care spending and improve health care quality will be difficult. Research that clarifies the tradeoffs physicians would be willing to accept in payment reform, and other concerns, may help refine the design of payment reforms and improve acceptance among physicians."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. D. Federman, M. Woodward, S. Keyhani. Physicians' Opinions About Reforming Reimbursement: Results of a National Survey. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010; 170 (19): 1735 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.369

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Physicians agree Medicare reimbursement is flawed, disagree on how to reform it." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025161040.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, October 25). Physicians agree Medicare reimbursement is flawed, disagree on how to reform it. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025161040.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Physicians agree Medicare reimbursement is flawed, disagree on how to reform it." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025161040.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins