In an attempt to bring a major shift in the payment mode of doctors and hospitals under Medicare in the United States, the Obama administration on Monday announced moving from the traditional “fee-for-service” model to various alternative methods by rewarding the health care providers for rationing care and cutting costs.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell on Monday announced the government’s initiative during a closed-door meeting with the representatives of the doctors’ professional organizations, insurance industry and large employers of the medical field.
The move aims to bring the counterrevolution in the health care sector embodied in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare into an extraordinarily higher gear.
Under the proposed plan, the government will carry payments to doctors and hospitals for a large percentage of health care programs offered under Medicare will be moved from the traditional model of “fee-for-service” to alternative methods over the next three years.
Medicare is the government-run health insurance program for the elderly people in the US.
Health experts believe the fundamental revamping of Medicare will cut the costs borne by the government, hospital chains and insurance firms by denying the Medicare patients the normal access to medical procedures, hospital care and drugs. The idea is to revamp the overall American health care system by realigning the Medicare more directly with the profit dictates of the market.
“Today’s announcement is about improving the quality of care we receive when we are sick, while at the same time spending our health care dollars more wisely,” Burwell told the reporters after the conclusion of the crucial meeting.
The US government’s Medicare program provides health insurance at an estimated cost of USD 600 billion per year to 50 million disabled and elderly people in America. Moreover, it is the largest single buyer of the services related to health care in the United States.