Testimony and Statement Submitted to the Senate Finance Committee
Quality of Care and Medicare's Prospective Payment System
This paper, which was originally presented as testimony before the Finance Committee of the U.S. Senate, draws on the author's background as a practicing physician and health services researcher. It briefly describes three studies that examine (1) geographic differences in the use of health services, (2) variations in the outcomes of hospital care, and (3) the effect of prospective payment on quality of care. The testimony is accompanied by a statement that reviews the major changes in health care financing caused by the establishment of the prospective payment system (PPS) and their implications for quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Finally, the author discusses major questions concerning the impact of PPS and summarizes research now in progress to answer them.