November 26,2007

Sen. Grassley comments on the hospital value-based purchasing plan for Medicare


TO: Reporters and Editors
FR: Jill Kozeny, 202/224-1308 for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley
RE: Value-Based Purchasing
DA: November 26, 2007

Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Committee on Finance, issued thecomment below about the report released today by the Department of Health and HumanServices on hospital-based value-based purchasing.

“Value-based purchasing could really transform our health care system and make thesystem better for patients. It means that a Medicare beneficiary would know that the quality ofcare he or she gets is part of the bottom line calculation the hospital is making. The way it isnow, hospitals get paid by Medicare regardless, just for processing another claim. The fact isthat Medicare is already far behind the private sector in rewarding quality care. Value-basedpurchasing is the kind of reform that every branch of our government ought to go after with fullforce. I introduced legislation to implement value-based purchasing in Medicare and when Ichaired the Finance Committee, I worked to get included in the Deficit Reduction Act arequirement for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to come up with this detailed planto implement by 2009 value-based purchasing with hospitals. Now that the plan is set, Congressneeds to get the job done and pass additional legislation to start implementing value-based purchasing.”