CMS physician program linked to pay-for-performance

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A new voluntary program from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allows physicians to self-report adherence to certain evidence-based quality measures.

Starting in January, physicians will be able to submit data on 36 quality measures for Medicare beneficiaries, including screening elderly patients for falls. Physicians, physician organizations and quality-of-care experts developed the measures.
Physicians will not receive higher compensation for reporting the measures and results will not be made public. But physicians will be informed about how their performance compares to that of their peers.
The government is moving toward pay-for-performance programs in the public and private sectors, according to Mark McClellan, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. There could be a link between reporting data and receiving higher Medicare payments next year, McClellan said.
(Published 11-1-05)