KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Ryan Says He Continues To Seek To Revamp Medicare To Help Control Federal Spending

The House speaker says in a radio interview that he is seeking "comprehensive Medicare legislation because that is the biggest one of all the unfunded liabilities.” Also, a new Commonwealth Fund study looks at the out-of-pocket health costs facing Medicare beneficiaries, and federal officials make an adjustment on new payment rules for doctors.

Roll Call: Paul Ryan Still Wants To Re-Do Medicare
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Friday it is possible the fiscal 2018 budget resolution could propose changes to the Medicare program. Speaking on WISN 1130, a conservative radio station in Milwaukee, Ryan said he’s long championed changes to the federal health insurance program for people 65 and older. “You know that I’ve long passed in my budgets comprehensive Medicare legislation because that is the biggest one of all the unfunded liabilities,” Ryan said. “The question is, can we get everybody else to agree, and that is just an ongoing conversation we’re having.” (Rahman, 5/12)

CNBC: Many Medicare Beneficiaries Spend 20 Percent Or More Of Their Income On Premiums, Other Health Costs
Having government-run health care doesn't mean you won't be on the hook for some steep medical bills. More than a quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries — 15 million elderly and disabled Americans — spend 20 percent or more of their household income in premiums and out-of-pocket health costs, a new study says. And those cost burdens are more common among Medicare beneficiaries who have low incomes, the Commonwealth Fund report found. (Mangan, 5/12)

WFPL (Louisville, Ky., Pubic Radio): Medicare Isn’t The Safest Of Safety Nets In Kentucky
If you’ve got Medicare insurance, you probably already know this. But if you don’t, you need to know this: It won’t be a relief from high health care costs. That’s according to a new study out from the Commonwealth Fund. The out-of-pocket cost for an average Medicare recipient is $3,024 a year, according to the study. That doesn’t include monthly premiums. And Medicare recipients pay on average $1,300 every time they’re hospitalized. (Gillespie, 5/15)

Modern Healthcare: CMS Gives 800,000 Docs A Pass On MACRA Requirement 
More than 800,000 clinicians will not have to comply with Merit-based Incentive Payment System reporting requirements outlined in MACRA, which may save them millions collectively in compliance costs. The majority of physician practices were expected to use the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, known as MIPS, to comply with MACRA as opposed to alternative pay models. Under MIPS, payments would be based on a compilation of quality measures and use of electronic health records. (Dickson, 5/11)

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