Are Medicare’s New Quality Incentives Large Enough To Change Hospital Behavior?

By Jordan Rau, KHN Staff Writer, SEP 04, 2012

 

Update Sept. 5, 2012, at 12:38 p.m.

With Medicare poised next month to give bonuses and penalties to hospitals based on how they ranked in quality standards, a number of health policy experts are questioning whether the amounts of money at stake are large enough to make a difference.

In October, Medicare will begin withholding 1 percent of hospitals’ reimbursements under the newValue-Based Purchasing programcreated by the health care law. The money, $850 million in the first year, will instead be doled out to hospitals based on how well they score on patient experience surveys and whether they followed a number of basic clinical guidelines in providing care.   Read more