A doctor is checking his patient's blood pressure The National Commission on Physician Payment Reform recently issued a report with a number of recommendations designed to rein in healthcare spending, while at the same time improve the quality of care by changing the way doctors practice.

Among other things, the plan calls for the phasing out of stand-alone, fee-for-service payments by the end of this decade. Fee-for-service, which is the most prevailing method of compensating doctors, is one of the main reasons for the uneven provision and high cost of healthcare. The plan calls for a five-year transition period to a blended payment system. The U.S. spends $8,000 per person each year on healthcare, according to the report.

Recommendations include:

  • Increase reimbursement for evaluation and management (E&M) services
  • Pay equal rates for the same physician services regardless of specialty or setting
  • Abolish Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)
  • Improve the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC)

The commission was put together by the Society of General Internal Medicine. It also calls for “fast-tracking” new care models, including accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes.

Click here to read the full report