CMS shares approaches for transforming FFS Medicare

CMS has released a group of documents explaining how it expects to transition the Medicare fee-for-service program to a quality-based system rather than paying based on service volume.

One paper offers an approach for implementing quality- and resource-use measures to improve care delivery. CMS officials have concluded that future quality measures will need to contain more information on health outcomes for the patient, transition of the patient across settings and resources needed to treat the patient.

Another offers steps for implementing value-based purchasing in the FFS program, an approach in which CMS would pay providers for service bundles that could include entire episodes of care for all providers. In the paper, the agency notes that it might have to consider modifications to physician self-referral rules to support this scheme, so hospitals and other providers can reward doctors for improving quality and efficiency.

To learn more about CMS's plans:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)
- read this CMS page on quality initiatives

Related Articles:
Senate prods CMS on value-based purchasing, SCHIP
CMS to expand 'value-based' purchasing efforts
Leavitt: Medicare formula isn't working