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AARP Endorses Senate Pay for Performance Legislation for Medicare Providers

AARP today endorsed legislation to reward high quality health care with financial incentives to Medicare providers.

The legislation, sponsored by Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Max Baucus (D-MT), is "an idea whose time has come," said AARP Group Executive Officer for Policy and Strategy John Rother. "We can no longer simply pay the bills for health care without using those payments as an incentive to improve the quality of that care for Medicare beneficiaries."

"Experience from Medicare's demonstrations with hospitals and private insurer's initiatives with physicians and health plans indicates that "pay-for-performance" gets results," said Rother. Aligning payment with performance can provide effective incentives for doctors, hospitals, and other institutions to improve care for older and disabled Americans."

AARP is also encouraged by the legislative efforts of key leaders in Congress. Three separate bills sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Senators Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) - would further develop and promote increased use of "Health Information Technology" (HIT) systems.

"With proper protections in place for patient privacy and data security, HIT can help improve health quality and efficiency for all Americans," said Rother. "These are important bi-partisan initiatives, and we look forward to working with the sponsors to move IT legislation forward as quickly as we can."

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