MMS Clarifies Position on Payment Reform

Press reports in today’s [Monday, December 6] media that have incorrectly indicated that the Massachusetts Medical Society has endorsed the state’s proposed global payments system of health care provider reimbursements require clarification.

The policy adopted by the MMS House of Delegates at its Interim Meeting December 3-4 was not an endorsement by the Society. The resolution adopted by delegates said that accountable care organizations (ACOs) should merely be one option along with other approaches to health care financing.

The MMS still has deep concerns about the viability of ACOs. While we recognize that some ACOs have already been established and are proving successful, MMS believes it remains an untested means of health care financing and can pose unintended consequences that can impair the physician-patient relationship and affect the viability of physician practices. Additionally, many legal issues exist for those physicians considering moving into ACOs.

The current MMS policy states that the Massachusetts Medical Society encourages a pluralistic compensation system to include fee-for-service, salary, and limited pilot studies that utilize a global payment system.

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