The former Policy Director for Governor Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign 2012, Lanhee Chen is a fellow at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University. His latest column for Bloomberg, ‘Fix doctors’ pay and improve health too’ is well worth a read on the US medical care system.
Lanhee opens his discussion highlighting that the current fee-for-service system is unsustainable – one of the few points that Medicare, Republicans and Democrats all agree on. Although the SGR have promised cuts in physician fees since 2002, most years Congress have postponed these.
This is a problem which Lanhee urges Congress to address quickly, he advocates replacing the SGR with an improved physician payment system. He suggests that a not fee-for-service system would reward quality of care rather than quantity and the move from SGR would be a “golden opportunity for better data collection”.
Lanhee acknowledges how expensive this reform would be – an estimated $138 billion, yet he firmly believes it is necessary to “replace the flawed payment system for doctors” and would be the first stage in strengthening Medicare for future generations.
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