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Medicare's bountiful new payment system

More than 90% of doctors and other clinicians participating in Medicare's new payment system received bonuses in the first year of its rollout. That includes 71% who were "exceptional," according to a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The big picture: The goal of this system is to encourage doctors, nurse practitioners and others to provide better care.

  • But the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission believes this payment system "will not be successful" and "should be eliminated" as soon as possible, because of its complexity and because it's almost impossible to compare who is doing well. Clinicians choose their own measures to be graded on.
  • The financial carrots also are limited. Bonuses for "exceptional doctors" ranged between 0.3% and 1.9% in this first year, and some with "high" quality marks may get no bonus at all.

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