Physicians should have more freedom to coordinate care, MedPAC says

The commission tells Congress that ACOs and payment bundling could prove flexible enough to move the system away from the downsides of fee for service. By CHARLES FIEGL, amednews staff. July 9, 2012.

Washington Physicians must be given flexibility in how they participate in new Medicare payment models for care coordination efforts to be successful, according to a new report by a congressional advisory panel.

Recent government studies have shown that most Medicare demonstrations on coordinating care have failed to improve patient outcomes and produce cost savings. However, some models — ones that give doctors more leeway and additional options in caring for patient populations — have proven to raise the quality of care and lower program spending, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s annual June report. MedPAC provides advice to Congress and the administration on how to reform the way Medicare pays for services, but they are under no obligation to follow the recommendations. Read more