On Second Thought…

Good morning (again), ProviderNation.

Boy, is my face red: No sooner do I finish inking a piece on how the doc fix seems stalled, the House Republicans work out a new deal.

Fred Upton, saving the doc fix's bacon.

Fred Upton, saving the doc fix’s bacon.

“These negotiation are never easy,” Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) tells Politico.  “But we fought hard to develop the strongest most effective policy to protect seniors’ access to their doctors, and I’m pleased we have a bipartisan agreement.”

The American Health Care Association’s redoubtable Dianne De La Mare tells us that the new agreement shortens the plan from 10 years to five, and gives docs a 0.5 percent boost. The bill also hopes to improve the fee-for-service system by consolidating the three existing quality programs into just one.

As a carrot, the legislation offers docs a 5 percent bonus if they move to a pay system where “a significant portion” of their revenue comes either from an alternative payment plan or “a patient-centered medical home.”

Finally, docs will have their quality and utilization data posted on the Physician Compare site, De La Mare says.

That takes care of the doctors. But there is still a little matter of who pays.

That sound you hear is the Lobbyist-American Community, preparing for battle.

Bill Myers is s senior editor of Provider

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