KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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HHS Says It Hit Goal Ahead Of Schedule For Tying Medicare Payments To Quality

The Obama administration had expected to reach the 30 percent goal at the end of this year. The changes in how doctors and hospitals are paid is part of an effort to get away from reimbursements based on quantity of services.

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration Hits Medicare Payment Target Early
Obama administration officials said Thursday they were almost a year ahead of their target to change the way Medicare pays hundreds of billions of dollars to providers for treating older Americans. The Department of Health and Human Services had wanted the federal insurance program for seniors to make 30% of its payments to doctors and hospitals on the basis of the quality of care they provide, rather than the quantity, by the end of 2016. That was seen as a step toward hitting 50% by 2018, beyond the lifespan of the Obama administration. (Radnofsky, 3/3)

The Hill: Obama Administration Beats Goal On Medicare Payment Reform
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Thursday it reached its goal of tying 30 percent of Medicare payments to value, instead of volume, with 10 months left in 2016. ... The 30 percent commitment, which was laid out last year, marks the most dramatic shift in Medicare payments in the program’s 50-year history. It’s also the first time the Obama administration — or any administration — has set a target on value-based payments. Instead of simply paying doctors for services, CMS now encourages public and private sector healthcare providers to base their payments on quality measures, such as patient outcome and access to care. (Ferris, 3/3)

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