Medicare Value-Based Program Rewards Health Providers for Quality Care
According to an article published by American Medical News journal, 18 employers and labor organizations will participate in a new Medicare program that pays physicians and hospitals based on quality of care. Medicare initiated the value-based purchasing program, titled Buying Value, in an attempt to guide employers in their purchase of health plans.
The article reported that the Value program will establish a common measure for health plan purchasing and will motivate practices to invest in the very best forms of care. The 18 employers involved in the Buying Value initiative stated that they will only purchase employee health plans that reward medical professionals for efficient and quality care. According to Medicare, the number one goal behind the Buying Value program is to help improve patient care while also lowering health care costs. An example of an approach Buying Value suggests to achieve their goal is to decrease the patient co-pay when patients receive care from a physician who is known for quality.
The Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation is supporting the program by providing employers and labor organizations with a database of health plans that offer health care providers rewards for quality. According to the RWJ Foundation, by 2017, nine percent of Medicare payments will be from health plans that are part of the quality initiative. Some of the organizations that are trading the traditional insurance model for the Buying Value approach include IBM, Maine Health Management Coalition and the National Education Assn.
Medicare and the Buying Value program reported that the established core standards and measurements of the quality initiative will be announced in October 2012. The standards and measurements will be the first step in creating an environment that rewards and pays health care providers based on quality of practice and patient care.
Related Articles“Magnet” Hospitals Report Superior Operational Excellence and Lower Mortality Rates
Financial institutions achieve operational efficiency through technology