Harold Dash, MD, a cardiologist, is president of the Everett (Wash.) Clinic, a group practice with more than 300 physicians. Here Dr. Dash discusses Everett's participation in the Medicare Physician Group Practice Demonstration Project, the model for the accountable care organization, a new system that bundles charges for hospitals, physician and other providers.
Question: What was the goal of the Medicare Physician Group Practice Demonstration?Harold
Dash: The goal was to lower costs and improve the quality of patient care. It involved 10 large physician groups across the country serving a total of 223,203 Medicare fee-for-service patients. Some of the practices are freestanding like Everett and some are integrated into health systems. The project lasted five years, ending this spring. Participants received the usual fee-for-service payments and then were eligible for cost performance payments and quality performance payments.