Medicare Payment Process Adjustments
In 2017, Medicare will begin experiencing a payment process restructure. The payments will no longer be completely based on services rendered. Medicare payment will also take into account how well patients received treatment during those services. It will be a complete renovation.
For doctors and health facilities, the system will tie tens, and then hundreds, of billions of dollars in payments to how their patients fare, rather than how much work a doctor or hospital does, lowering the curtain on Medicare’s system of paying line-by-line for each scan, test and surgery.”
Patients will no longer be separate from the payment, but rather an active part in whether or not a doctor is paid. This is unprecedented and a surprising change. It is the first time in the U.S. history that medicine will be evaluated for payment based on the success of the patient receiving care.
Benefits vs. Challenges
The primary challenge with these payment changes will be with the services offered by medical professionals. Currently with Medicare, the patient is charged for each individual service, such as a test, outside of the general visit or evaluation by the doctor. In the new plan, Medicare will request that all providers simply charge an overall fee for patient.
This may cause doctors who participate with Medicare to be less likely to offer certain tests. They want to make sure that the success of the patient is that they do not return for a similar or worse condition. It means that doctors will need to diagnose accurately. While this sounds like common sense, it can be difficult. The goal of these changes is to reduce spending in Medicare on revolving door patients who could have been treated properly the first time. These adjustments will require all parties to pay close attention to details.
If the subject of Medicare is of interest to you, you may want to consider pursing a degree in the healthcare administration field.