The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Geographic Variation in Health Care Spending and Promotion of High-Value Care announced that it will hold its first meeting on November 9-10, 2010 in Washington, DC covering “Geographic Variation in Health Care Spending.”

As a method to ensure that providers receive reasonable payment for their services, Medicare uses geographic adjustment factors which are variations in reimbursement based on estimated operating expenses in different regions across the nation. Views in the health care industry are divided on whether linking payment to geographic location impacts access to quality and care. In response to CMS’s request of the IOM to evaluate the accuracy of the geographic adjustment factors used for Medicare payment, an IOM committee will prepare two reports for Congress and the HHS Secretary over a 24 month period.

IOM will consider stakeholder input through presentations at open meetings and the submission of materials. IOM states that a draft agenda will be posted shortly. More details are available at www.iom.edu/Activities/HealthServices/GeographicAdjustments.aspx.