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DEMONSTRATION OF APPLICATION OF PHYSICIAN VOLUME INCREASES TO GROUP PRACTICES[290]

Sec1866A[42 U.S.C. 1395cc–1] (a) Demonstration Program Authorized.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary shall conduct demonstration projects to test and, if proven effective, expand the use of incentives to health care groups participating in the program under this title that—

(A) encourage coordination of the care furnished to individuals under the programs under parts A and B by institutional and other providers, practitioners, and suppliers of health care items and services;

(B) encourage investment in administrative structures and processes to ensure efficient service delivery; and

(C) reward physicians for improving health outcomes. Such projects shall focus on the efficiencies of furnishing health care in a group–practice setting as compared to the efficiencies of furnishing health care in other health care delivery systems.

(2) Administration by contract.—Except as otherwise specifically provided, the Secretary may administer the program under this section in accordance with section 1866B.

(3) Definitions.—For purposes of this section, terms have the following meanings:

(A) Physician.—Except as the Secretary may otherwise provide, the term “physician” means any individual who furnishes services which may be paid for as physicians’ services under this title.

(B) Health care group.—The term “health care group” means a group of physicians (as defined in subparagraph (A)) organized at least in part for the purpose of providing physicians’ services under this title. As the Secretary finds appropriate, a health care group may include a hospital and any other individual or entity furnishing items or services for which payment may be made under this title that is affiliated with the health care group under an arrangement structured so that such individual or entity participates in a demonstration under this section and will share in any bonus earned under subsection (d).

(b) Eligibility Criteria.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary is authorized to establish criteria for health care groups eligible to participate in a demonstration under this section, including criteria relating to numbers of health care professionals in, and of patients served by, the group, scope of services provided, and quality of care.

(2) Payment method.—A health care group participating in the demonstration under this section shall agree with respect to services furnished to beneficiaries within the scope of the demonstration (as determined under subsection (c))—

(A) to be paid on a fee-for-service basis; and

(B) that payment with respect to all such services furnished by members of the health care group to such beneficiaries shall (where determined appropriate by the Secretary) be made to a single entity.

(3) Data reporting.—A health care group participating in a demonstration under this section shall report to the Secretary such data, at such times and in such format as the Secretary requires, for purposes of monitoring and evaluation of the demonstration under this section.

(c) Patients Within Scope of Demonstration.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary shall specify, in accordance with this subsection, the criteria for identifying those patients of a health care group who shall be considered within the scope of the demonstration under this section for purposes of application of subsection (d) and for assessment of the effectiveness of the group in achieving the objectives of this section.

(2) Other criteria.—The Secretary may establish additional criteria for inclusion of beneficiaries within a demonstration under this section, which may include frequency of contact with physicians in the group or other factors or criteria that the Secretary finds to be appropriate.

(3) Notice requirements.—In the case of each beneficiary determined to be within the scope of a demonstration under this section with respect to a specific health care group, the Secretary shall ensure that such beneficiary is notified of the incentives, and of any waivers of coverage or payment rules, applicable to such group under such demonstration.

(d) Incentives.—

(1) Performance target.—The Secretary shall establish for each health care group participating in a demonstration under this section—

(A) a base expenditure amount, equal to the average total payments under parts A and B for patients served by the health care group on a fee–for–service basis in a base period determined by the Secretary; and

(B) an annual per capita expenditure target for patients determined to be within the scope of the demonstration, reflecting the base expenditure amount adjusted for risk and expected growth rates.

(2) Incentive bonus.—The Secretary shall pay to each participating health care group (subject to paragraph (4)) a bonus for each year under the demonstration equal to a portion of the medicare savings realized for such year relative to the performance target.

(3) Additional bonus for process and outcome improvements.—At such time as the Secretary has established appropriate criteria based on evidence the Secretary determines to be sufficient, the Secretary shall also pay to a participating health care group (subject to paragraph (4)) an additional bonus for a year, equal to such portion as the Secretary may designate of the saving to the program under this title resulting from process improvements made by and patient outcome improvements attributable to activities of the group.

(4) Limitation.—The Secretary shall limit bonus payments under this section as necessary to ensure that the aggregate expenditures under this title (inclusive of bonus payments) with respect to patients within the scope of the demonstration do not exceed the amount which the Secretary estimates would be expended if the demonstration projects under this section were not implemented.


[290]  See Vol. II, P.L. 106-554, §412(b), with respect to a GAO report on the demonstration project under §1866A.