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    Your peers are taking on payment reform--will you?

    A national primary care medical society launched a commission co-led by a former U.S. Senator to research and push for changes on how you are compensated.

    The Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), whose members are internal medicine faculty from every medical school and major teaching hospital in the United States, announced the formation of The National Commission on Physician Payment Reform. The commission will study physician payment systems and the financial incentives linked to patient care. It will issue recommendations on reforming the payment system to control healthcare costs while improving outcomes for patients, according to the group.

    The committee’s honorary chair is former Tennessee Senator Bill Frist, MD, a Republican, but the 14 commissioners are a bipartisan group that includes Kavita Patel, MD, a former member of the Obama administration; and JudyAnn Bigby, MD, who serves in the cabinet of Democratic Massachusetts Governor. Deval Patrick. The committee chair is Steven Schroeder, MD, former president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and distinguished professor of health and healthcare at the University of California, San Francisco.

    The commission also will study potential impacts of proposed healthcare payment models such as accountable care organizations, Patient-Centered Medical Homes and value-based purchasing.

    The commission will meet over the course of 2012, and is expected to produce an analysis with full recommendations early in 2013. The commission is funded in part by the RWJF, the California Healthcare Foundation, and the Sergei Zlinkoff Fund for Medical Education and Research.

    “We have a responsibility to provide constructive, ethical, and practical solutions to how we provide care in this country,” said Harry Selker, MD, president of the SGIM, in a statement. “As physicians have taken over greater financial responsibility for providing care, there is the need to balance the care of individual patients with the need to constrain overall costs.”

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