WASHINGTON— AARP director of Public Policy John Rother released the following statement today regarding the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) announcement that beginning next year Medicare will tie a portion of hospital payments to performance.
“AARP strongly supports efforts to change Medicare’s payment system from one that rewards quantity to one that rewards quality. This is both common sense and necessary to ensure that health care does not continue to become increasingly unaffordable for Medicare beneficiaries over time. It is also a way to make a good program like Medicare even better.
“Medicare generally pays nothing more to providers who give beneficiaries high quality care. Instead, Medicare sometimes pays more to those who provide services that are inefficient or necessary only after preventable medical errors are made."
“Medicare and those who rely on the program should be getting more for their health care dollar. Tying Medicare’s payment to the quality of the care provided is a reasonable way to achieve that goal. It also may help control spiraling health care costs, avoid unnecessary procedures, and decrease improper utilization.
“AARP has supported payment for reporting of quality measures as a first step toward pay for performance. We are pleased that Medicare is now taking concrete steps to begin tying a portion of hospital payments to their actual performance, rewarding both those that provide high quality and those that demonstrate meaningful improvement.
“Medicare has often been a leader in developing health care payment innovations that were subsequently adopted throughout our health care system. AARP commends the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for moving forward with its pay for performance initiatives in that tradition. We look forward to working with CMS, Congress and other stakeholders to realign incentives in all Medicare payment systems – and throughout our health care system – to promote high quality care and maintain affordability.”
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