KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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As Medicare Moves To Implement New Payment System, Price Asks Doctors To Make Suggestions

The secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services says better payment options might help prevent doctor "burn-out." Also, Medicare releases its data showing geographic differences in spending.

Bloomberg: HHS’s Price Urges Doctors To Submit Ideas For Medicare Pay Models
Doctors should step up and recommend more payment alternatives to fee-for-service Medicare, the HHS secretary said April 11. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said innovative payment models could work better than fee-for-service Medicare and might stop doctors from leaving the profession at middle age because they feel “burned out.” (Yochelson, 4/12)

Modern Healthcare: In Medicare, States Are Far From Equal
In 2015, Hawaii spent $6,608 per traditional Medicare beneficiary, but Mississippi spent $10,700. Nationwide, Medicare per capita costs amounted to $9,582, CMS data released Tuesday show. Why the difference? Medicare spending, utilization and quality vary widely across states, a phenomenon that is longstanding but remains poorly understood. These fluctuations by geography do not seem to reflect beneficiaries' health, the CMS noted in its methodology document for the data, which are released annually in what is formally known as the Geographic Public Use File. (Whitman, 4/12)

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