Deliverance in details for payment formula

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Offering succinct praise to the Energy and Commerce Committee and other congressional leaders for putting their best foot forward to stamp out a “broken Medicare physician payment system,” the American Medical Association (AMA) focused on routes to restructuring in its address to lawmakers on July 23.

“The American Medical Association is pleased that the Energy and Commerce Committee and other congressional leaders continue their work to end the broken Medicare physician payment system this year and move toward a Medicare program that rewards high-quality care for our nation’s senior citizens and reduces costs,” said Ardis D. Hoven, MD, president of the AMA, in a prepared correspondence.

Citing support from across the political aisle for resetting, splinting and mending the fractured payment formula, Hoven stressed that legislators channel said furtherance to hone in on the details.

“There is clear bipartisan support for fixing this failed formula and making improvements in the program, but the details matter considerably and there is still work to be done to ensure a strong future for Medicare,” she wrote on behalf of the organization.

More specifically, the AMA suggested that lawmakers consider the following when drafting a proper graft for the Medicare payment schema of the future: “When crafting new payment systems, lawmakers must ensure that funding for Medicare’s payments to physicians is sufficient to allow for sustainable practice environments that give physicians the ability to invest in new ways of improving care for patients. This includes maintaining budget neutrality related to adjustments to correct misvalued codes as part of that ongoing process. Changes to quality reporting requirements should build on the existing system rather than attempting to implement a new regimen that adds administrative burdens and could distract from more effective efforts to improve patient care. “

As an additional resource, 111 physician organizations (including the AMA) have presented a set of principles for the political body to consider in this endeavor to secure a better environment for physicians and the patients they care for.

“We will continue to work with the committee to achieve the best Medicare system for patients and physicians,” Hoven concluded.

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