Monday, November 01, 2010

Confessions of a Price Controller


Confessions of a Price Controller — The American, A Magazine of Ideas: "The Wall Street Journal reports that Medicare pays too much for specialist services and too little for primary care—even though doctors themselves decide how the money should be divvied up. That drives up the cost of the program and intensifies the shortage of primary-care doctors needed to care for the 32 million people who will get health coverage over the next few years.

This is neither surprising nor new, at least to me. I oversaw the study that created Medicare’s physician payment mechanism during the 1980s; I oversaw the implementation of that mechanism during the early 1990s; I am currently an appointed member of a state commission that sets prices for hospitals—and for those 25 years, I have been arguing that price controls are the wrong way to go."

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