Replacing the sustainable growth rate formula is one aspect of Medicare reform that should merit quick congressional action and bipartisan support, writes Lanhee J. Chen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Reforming the physician compensation system should be the first step toward terminating Medicare's fee-for-service approach, and it should incorporate ways of rewarding physicians for their quality of care, Chen writes. But he notes physicians in particular must be involved in determining how quality is measured, and he says it's essential to ensure metrics are risk-adjusted to reflect the challenges of treating the sickest patients.

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