Medicare unveils timetable for changing how it pays doctors, hospitals

The Obama administration outlined ambitious new goals Monday to transform the way the gargantuan Medicare program pays doctors and hospitals in the next four years, rewarding providers that achieve better outcomes for patients rather than just do more. The move away from so-called fee-for-service medicine is a central, if little recognized, goal of the Affordable Care Act, which the president signed five years ago. That shift is seen as critical by most experts to improving the quality of care that patients receive while also restraining costs at a time when millions of baby boomers will be entering the nation’s primary insurance program for the elderly. Under the goals announced...