Federal Relations

May 4, 2009

Senate Finance Committee Releases Options to Improve Patient Care and Reduce Costs

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have released a set of policy options for transforming the health care delivery system to improve patient care and reduce health care costs.

Among other options, their proposals would:

  • Establish a Medicare value-based purchasing program for hospitals and begin to pay hospitals for their actual performance on quality measures beginning in 2013;
  • Reduce payments to hospitals with high readmission rates for certain conditions;
  • Bundle payments for hospital and post-acute care services within 30 days of hospital discharge;
  • Redistribute unused graduate medical education slots to increase access to primary care; and
  • Ban physician self-referral to a hospital in which the physician has an ownership interest, subject to certain requirements.

Senate Finance Committee Policy Options