Physicians

POLICY/INTERNATIONAL/PHYSICIANS: It’s not just here that doctors fees are an issue

And from the THCB Japan bureau (well actually the Yomiuri Shimbun)….

It’s worth noting that the Japanese, who have one medical fee schedule for all of their multi-payers (and also a complex system of cross-subsidization between those payers), are about to cut fees and reallocate them. In Japan private doctors make lots and lots more money than hospital-based ones, and the government is slowly trying to move the incentives away from what’s traditionally been a system with a high-volume of office visits and prescriptions of dubious benefit.

We’re about to do the same here, calling it pay for performance. Like there it’s going to turn into a fight. Joe Paduda notes today that the AMA is having some success in its attempt to stop the 4% cut that’s scheduled to come into effect for Medicare at the end of the year. And is directly linking it with a demand to stop pay for performance.

The advantage that the Japanese have got is that there’s only one fee schedule to argue about. Here we have gazillions and no one really knows what they are

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