Finance Hearing Statement: “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015: Ensuring Successful Implementation of Physician Payment Reforms”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement for the committee’s hearing, “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015: Ensuring Successful Implementation of Physician Payment Reforms.
“I thank the Chairman for holding today’s hearing to examine the ongoing implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. Prior to the enactment of this legislation, the status quo of Medicare physician payments was fiscally unsustainable and prioritized quantity of service over quality of service in our health care system. An overhaul of our broken Medicare physician payment system was badly needed, and this bill was approved by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers.
“This law steered a fundamental shift in the Medicare payment system from fee-for-service payments to a performance-based system—one that encourages health care providers to focus on the quality of care provided to each patient. Instead of paying physicians and other health care providers for the number of services they provide, the new payment system encourages providers to improve health outcomes and drive down costs by keeping patients as healthy as possible. The result is better for our public health and the long-term health of the Medicare program.
“In order to achieve successful implementation of this law, the administration needs to take an all-hands-on-deck approach. Like turning an aircraft carrier, implementing this law will take time, but it’s important for those of us in Congress to practice robust oversight and ensure that these changes are adopted successfully. I look forward to today’s hearing.”