Alliance of Community Health Plans applauds Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn’s proposed legislation on Medicare incentives for quality

Washington, D.C. – The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) commended Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (R-WA) for including incentives for quality in HR 2033, the Medicare Equity and Access Act.

Rep. Dunn has worked closely with Group Health Cooperative (GHC) of Washington, an ACHP member, in developing the legislation. “Congresswoman Dunn is to be applauded for taking national leadership in advancing this innovative approach to providing quality incentives in the Medicare+Choice program,” said Jack Ebeler, President and CEO of ACHP. “The bill reflects a growing consensus in the policy community that stronger incentives are needed to promote the highest quality care, as reflected in the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in its groundbreaking report Crossing the Quality Chasm.”

The legislation provides for a two-part approach to quality enhancement. First, it sets aside $500 million a year for a two-year program under which Medicare+Choice plans that achieve high performance levels on a set of current quality measures would receive special bonus payments. Second, the bill requires an IOM study to develop longer-term approaches to incentives for quality in Medicare. It also provides for an overall payment increase for M+C plans, as well as other improvements in the program. A summary is available at ACHP’s website, www.achp.org.