By Dr. Michael Wasserman, Geriatrician | Altarum.org
“It should not be surprising that how we pay for a service can drive how those services are delivered. With this in mind, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will focus some of their innovations grant funding through a national Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network. I have been fortunate over the last 25 years to experience a wide variety of physician payment techniques. One thing has become clear to me: You get what you pay for! If you pay doctors to see a lot of patients in one hour, they will. If you pay them to perform procedures, they will. On the other hand, if you were to pay doctors to spend time with patients and listen to their needs, I believe that they would.
“The government continues to seek out complex payment methodologies, which often involve problematic incentives in order to improve the existing system. Therein lies the problem. I would propose that everyone has been overthinking the payment issue. How can I know this? Am I a physician complaining that I do not make enough money? Am I too lazy to learn how to code properly? Am I just another policy wonk with an opinion? Before we go any further, I think that it would be pertinent to present my credentials and experience.