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Hope and anxiety from new Medicare law

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Physicians are generally happy, or at least relieved, about the new Medicare payment reforms, which assure them of higher reimbursements from the Feds.

Some worry that the drive to federally standardize treatment-outcomes measurements will put undue  record-keeping pressure on them. And, yes, it’s often difficult to measure outcomes, and what about uncooperative patients?

But, of course, the drive to fee for value from fee for service is already well underway, if far too complicated because of the turgid role of the insurance companies.

The new law seems sure to speed the absorption of physician groups into hospital systems where  big back offices and economies of scale make it easier to  measure and record outcomes.  And it will be a big stimulus for expansion of Accountable Care Organizations and patient-centered medical homes.


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