GAO Report Offers Rebuke Of Medicare Bonus Program

A report to be released today by government auditors calls the Medicare bonus program wasteful and questions claims it improves quality of care.

The New York Times: GAO Calls Test Project By Medicare Costly Waste
Medicare is wasting more than $8 billion on an experimental program that rewards providers of mediocre health care and is unlikely to produce useful results, federal investigators say in a new report (Pear, 4/22).

The Associated Press: Auditors Call For End To Medicare Bonus Program
In a rebuke to the Obama administration, government auditors are calling for the cancellation of an $8 billion Medicare program that congressional Republicans have criticized as a political ploy. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says in a report to be released Monday that the $8.3 billion the administration has earmarked for quality bonuses to Medicare Advantage insurance plans would postpone the pain of cuts to the plans under the new health care law. Most of the money would go to plans rated merely average (Alonso-Zaldivar, 4/23).

Related, much earlier KHN coverage: 
Effort To Reward Medicare Advantage Plans Draws Criticism (Appleby, 1/10/11). 

Winners And Losers In Medicare Advantage Extras: Avalere Report (Werber Serafini, 3/12). 

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