Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Look who is going to write the compensation rules for the "Medical Home"

The American College of Physicians and others have been touting their solution to most (if not all) of the problems destroying primary care medicine under the banner of "Medical Home". One major obstacle to providing the accessible,continuous and coordinated care has been and is that physicians are not compensated to provide that type service.For example, how would Mediare compensate docs for those activities?

Now we learn that AMA's friend of the primary care doc,the RUC (relative value scale update committee) will play a major role in setting up the rules and ultimately the fee structure for the Medicare version of the Medical Home. The Tax relief and Health Care Act of 2006 mandated a demonstration project .

Here is a link to the AMA site with a description and from there a further link to the full set of recommendations from RUC. Anyone who thinks the Medicare funded Medical Home will be anything different from the morass of rules and tricks and traps of the fee structure and coding mysteries that typifies dealing with CMS should take a few minutes and read what RUC has authored. If you think the current coding games doctors have to play are onerous and irrational
(go to the latest from the Happy Hospitalist to get a flavor of that) wait until you see what the RUC thinks need be done to deliver the "coordinated continuous care" envisioned by the pie-in-sky Medical Home concept.

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