Lawmaker introduces value-based purchasing proposal

A Pennsylvania congressman has introduced a bill to implement value-based purchasing (VBP) on a national scale. U.S. Representative Jason Altmire (D-PA) introduced the proposal last week. It is the first VBP proposal in either the House or Senate and would reward hospitals for their performance on process measures for the four specified conditions that are currently reported to CMS and publicly available on the Hospital Compare Web site. Once fully implemented, a hospital would have the opportunity to earn up to 2% of its reimbursements should it meet the established quality benchmarks or improve its performance on the quality measures. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would have the authority to develop and add new measures on patient outcomes, care coordination, patient safety, and more to the program. The entire program would be established in a budget neutral manner.

Congress this year approved legislation calling on the HHS secretary to implement a VBP program by 2010. The bill received praise from the Premier healthcare alliance, which partnered with CMS on its pay-for-performance pilot.

“We have learned firsthand through the CMS, Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration pay-for-performance project, which has touched millions of patients, that a well-designed pay-for-performance program can help accomplish that goal,” Blair Childs, senior vice president of public affairs, Premier healthcare alliance, said in a statement. Click here for Premiere’s summary of the bill .

(SOURCES: HCPro Quality Improvement Monitor , http://hcpro.com, October 23, 2004; Hospital Quality Alliance , http://hospitalqualityalliance.org , accessed September 20, 2008)