CHA News Article

IOM Committee Determines Geographic Medicare Payments Do Not Incentivize Quality Care

The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee on Geographic Variation in Health Care Spending and Promotion of High-Value Health Care released its interim report to Congress last week, finding that Medicare payment rates based on geographic region would not give providers incentive to deliver more efficient care.

A geographic index would pay providers working in areas with lower cost and higher quality care more than providers working in regions with higher-cost and lower quality care. The report contends that health care decisions are made at the individual level rather than at the regional level and that, within regions, outcomes vary widely. Requested by members of Congress in low-spending regions, the report suggests payment reforms similar to those included in the Affordable Care Act would do more to incentivize higher quality and more efficient care. The committee will release its final report this summer. To download the interim report or read it online, visit