Forum Session

Physician Spending Growth: Do We Get What We Pay For?
March 17, 2006


Laura A. Dummit


Medicare fees for physician services in 2006 will be held to 2005 levels, yet Medicare physician spending is projected to rise by $1.5 billion. Increases in the volume of physician services provided as well as their complexity have been driving up spending and are expected to continue to do so. This trend adds to concerns about the growing share of the federal budget devoted to health care and whether the added spending is improving health outcomes. This Forum session examined recent trends in physician spending, the value of additional physician services, and public and private payers’ efforts to get the most value out of the health care dollar.


Mark Miller, PhD, Executive Director, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; David Goodman, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Chief of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Samuel Nussbaum, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Wellpoint, Inc.; Paul Liss, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Marshfield Clinic

Slides from the presentations by Dr. Miller, Dr. Goodman, and Dr. Liss and handouts from Dr. Nussbaum are available for download.

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