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September 2010
Policy and Advocacy
IDSA Weighs in on Medicare’s Plans for Value-Based Payments

IDSA is providing ID physicians’ feedback to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the agency’s plans to develop a system to pay physicians differentially based on the quality and cost of their care. The effort is one of many reforms included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that Congress passed last year.

Society members Steven Schmitt, MD, FIDSA, and Larry Martinelli, MD, FIDSA, represented IDSA at recent  “listening sessions” held by CMS. Among other things, the IDSA representatives warned against the possible unintended consequences of linking physicians’ payments to the cost and quality of their care.

For example, primary care physicians could be less likely to consult with subspecialists if they are concerned about higher costs appearing in their feedback reports. For that reason, IDSA believes that feedback reports must tie costs to patient outcomes, and the data should be further analyzed if a physician is shown to be a high-cost outlier.

IDSA also pointed out that ID physicians’ ability to participate in the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) is limited by CMS’s refusal to include more measures related to inpatient care. IDSA supports developing measures that recognize the role of ID specialists and other hospital-based physicians in the treatment of highly complex hospitalized patients. In addition, measures should take into account the ID specialist’s role in implementing system-wide practices that reduce the prevalence of hospital-acquired infections and prevent new disease outbreaks.

For copies of the IDSA statements, click here:
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