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CMS launches program to improve physician-hospital collaboration

Physician Practice Advisor, September 13, 2006

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a three-year demonstration program to improve physician-hospital collaborations in order to achieve better quality of care, according to a CMS press release. The program will measure whether hospitals that provide financial incentives to physicians who support better care can improve patient outcomes without increasing costs.

In the demonstration program, the hospital would receive the usual inpatient rate for the patient's care, but the hosptial would pay the physician a portion of the savings resulting from documented quality improvement and efficiency initiatives taken by the physician.

For example, a hospital could provide incentive payments to surgeons who achieve lower infection rates and fewer readmissions with complications, which could both improve patient outcomes and lower overall hospital and Medicare costs. The program will initially encompass physician groups and 72 hospitals in a limited number of geographic areas across the country.

Click here to read the CMS press release.