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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Experts: Tie Doctors' Pay to Quality

Medicare Urged to Establish Pay-for-Performance Program to Encourage Good Care

'Long March' to Incentives continued...

The American Medical Association (AMA), which looks after doctors' interests in Washington, has said any new payment incentive system should be voluntary for doctors. The organization is coming up with its own set of quality measures for Medicare to consider.

"In addition, pay-for-performance programs should ensure quality of care, foster the patient-physician relationship, and use accurate data and fair reporting," Cecil Wilson, MD, the AMA's board chairman, said in a statement Thursday.

Medicare has already launched demonstration projects designed to test whether pay-for-performance incentives can improve care. Outgoing Medicare chief Mark McClellan, MD, a physician and economist, has said the agency plans to expand those programs.

Donald McCleod, a Medicare spokesman, said hospitals participating in a voluntary demonstration received $8.85 million in bonuses for improvements on quality measures this year. He called the IOM's report "right on target."

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