Premier Inc.’s Blair Childs on the Coming Revolution in Physician Payment Incentives

One day after the SGR repeal legislation passed the House, Premier’s Blair Childs shared his perspectives on physician payment changes

Blair Childs, senior vice president for public affairs at the Charlotte-based Premier Inc., a nationwide alliance of hospitals, physician groups, and other providers, spoke withHCI Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland on Friday, March 27, one day after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula  for physician payment under the Medicare program. The SGR repeal legislation, which contains a broad set of provisions creating something to be called the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, or MIPS. The MIPS would consolidate value-based payment for physicians under Medicare that currently fall in several areas, including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) program, the Value-Based Payment Modifier under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the meaningful use program under the HITECH (Health Information technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act.

Despite the challenge of a looming month’s-end deadline for the legislation of yet another so-called “SGR patch” by the end of this month, some sources are saying that the U.S. Senate will wait until mid-April to reconvene and vote on the SGR repeal legislation that has just passed the House. Childs is one of these; he is predicting that the Senate will take up the legislation in mid-April when Congress comes back into session.

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