Professional Society Announces Payment Commission

A professional society is in the process of creating a national commission that will recommend reforms to physician payment in the U.S. The National Commission on Physician Payment Reform is a creation of the Washington DC-based Society of General Internal Medicine. Noting that healthcare spending is scheduled to reach $4.5 trillion in 2019, the Commission’s concerns include the current fee-for-service system’s emphasis on quantity rather than quality of services; system-wide waste and lack of care coordination; a patient population that is increasingly more complicated in terms of chronic care needs and the system’s preoccupation with high technology interventions “that may or may not be necessary.” The Commission plans to review such innovations as accountable care organizations, patient-centered medical homes and value-based purchasing. It plans to produce payment reform recommendations by early 2013. Former Senate Majority Leader William Frist, MD is the Commission’s Honorary Chair; University of California Department of Medicine Professor Steven Schroeder, MD, MACP is Chair. The Commission indicates it will shortly announce its consumer members. Funding is being provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the California Healthcare Foundation and the Sergei Zlinkoff Fund for Medical Education and Research. For more information, visit the Commission’s website at