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Doctor With Piggy Bank Japan, France and Germany all utilize fee-for-service but still pay less for health care. Why? (Photo: iStock)

In an effort to lower health care spending, lawmakers in the United States have focused on eliminating fee-for-service reimbursements, which provide an incentive for physicians performing additional services. A group of researchers at Rutgers University, however, contends that standardizing fee-for-service payments and structuring negotiations between insurers and providers could help slow the rate at which U.S. health care prices increase.

In a new study titled “Getting the Price Right: How Some Countries Control Spending in a Fee-For-Service System,” published in Health Affairs, a research team from Rutgers School of Public Health compared policies in France, Germany, and Japan. Payers and physicians in those countries engage in structured fee negotiations and standardized prices in systems where fee-for-service is the main model of outpatient physician reimbursement.

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