Providers want CMS to pay more for compliance with P4P

While they think the pilot projects and other efforts by CMS to improve quality should be expanded, providers last week told Congress that they want to see Medicare pay more to help with the costs of participating. Legislators on the Senate Finance Committee convened a panel on pay-for-performance programs, taking comments from providers, insurers and policy experts on how to best foster quality improvement measures in federal healthcare programs. For example, Mark Povroznik, director of quality initiatives for 311-bed United Hospital Center of Clarksburg, WV, told the committee that maintaining top scores in quality improvement projects requires additional resources, particularly in the health IT arena, which "carries a huge price tag," he noted.

Mark Wynn, director of the CMS division of payment policy demonstrations, noted that the CMS/Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration Project, which has gone on since 2003 and includes more than 250 hospitals, has a budget of $12 million per year for 2006 through 2009. While there are no current plans to increase bonuses under the current CMS/Premier project, the agency recently submitted a proposal for value-based purchasing that could give providers the chance to earn higher incentives. Under the new proposal, the bonus per hospital would be higher than what the hospitals are earning under the Premier program.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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