(A version of this Health Alert was published by Forbes.)
Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services announced by it had beat its target of tying 30 percent of Medicare Part A and B payments to “quality of care rather than quantity of services.” That goal was initially set for the end of 2016, but was actually achieved in January.
Initially, this was a goal set only by administrative fiat, in January 2015. However, it soon picked up bipartisan legislative support in the so-called “doc fix” bill of April 2015. The Administration has a goal of tying 90 percent of payments to “quality” by 2018 and it now looks like this is a realistic target.
Another way to describe paying for “quality of care rather than quantity of service” could be “plotting to destroy Medicare as we know it,” although the politicians who brought this about would not use those words. On the contrary, Republican and Democratic politicians accuse each other of plotting to destroy “Medicare as we know it” when campaigning against each other, because they know that is the easiest way to scare granny at the voting booth.
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