Posted on 18 September 2009
By Mark Miller
Medicare will launch a three-year pilot program next year aimed at giving physicians financial incentives to coordinate patient care.
The aim is to improve primary care and cut down on costly emergency room visits. The program is modeled on an existing program in Vermont, and it mirrors an idea contained in the key health reform bill passed by the House of Representatives (HR 3200).
Under the program, doctors receive financial incentives to create so-called “medical homes” — a single doctor or practice that will track all the patient’s required care. The aim is to get doctors to spend more time with patients and coordinate care from specialists.
It’s not clear where the pilot program will be tested; states will be able to apply to join the program later this year.