KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study: Medicare ‘Pay-For-Performance’ Could Increase Care Inequality

Reuters: "The U.S. government's plan to base Medicare payments to hospitals on certain quality-of-care measures could end up transferring funds away from hospitals in the nation's poorest, underserved areas," according to a study published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Medicine. "Pay-for-performance reimbursement plans essentially reward hospitals and doctors for meeting certain treatment goals established in medical guidelines. For example, guidelines state that heart attack patients should be given aspirin and drugs called beta-blockers when they are admitted to and discharged from the hospital; centers that better meet that goal would get greater reimbursements. … But concerns have been raised about the fairness of such a system, since it assumes that all hospitals have the resources they need to meet clinical performance measures" (Amy Norton, 6/29). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.