AHA says Medicare P4P proposal would hurt hospitals

In an entirely predictable move, the American Hospital Association (AHA) has come forward to say that it isn't pleased with CMS's new proposal to base Medicare hospital payments on quality measures. The AHA contends that the proposed requirements, which begin with quality reporting but shift to incentives based 100 percent on meeting quality goals, would ultimately create financial problems for hospitals. 

As proposed, the plan would make two to five percent of existing hospital payments contingent on meeting quality goals. However, the AHA would like to see P4P incentive payments come from a new pool of money rather than cuts from existing reimbursement. I've got to say that I'm with the AHA on that. After all, it's a bit disingenuous to call payments an "incentive" when they're taken out of money you've already earned.

To find out more about the AHA's concerns:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report item

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