The Obama administration took a big step toward paying for quality over volume last week when it announced the rules for its new Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program. Under the program, which was mandated by Congress in the Affordable Care Act, a small portion of hospitals’ Medicare payments will be determined based on how they perform on a series of clinical quality measures and patient satisfaction scores.
Starting in October 2012, Medicare officials will take 1% of the payments that would otherwise to go hospitals under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System and put them in a fund to pay hospitals based on quality. Medicare officials estimate that about $850 million will be available for quality payments in the first year.
To hear more about the move toward paying for quality, check out this edition of the Policy & Practice podcast. This week’s podcast also has details on the new national coordinator for health information technology and the status of the Affordable Care Act in the courts.
Take a listen:
And join us next week to hear how the House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to move forward to address the Medicare physician payment formula.
— Mary Ellen Schneider (on Twitter @MaryEllenNY)