MedPAC wants physician payment incentives changed

In an announcement likely to be taken seriously--as its recommendations may soon be implemented automatically--MedPAC has released a report suggesting that Medicare change the way it pays providers boost care coordination and efficiency. The commission contends that current incentives reward volume instead of value.

To address these issues, MedPAC called for a greater focus on graduate medical education, which it argues could support and promote new Medicare incentives. It also looks at accountable care organizations as a means of improving quality, lowering cost growth and increasing care coordination.

The commission also examined self-referral on imaging, and concluded that physicians are more likely to order imaging tests and incur higher costs if they invest in imaging equipment. This conclusion squares with previous academic studies.

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