Cardiologists Contest Medicare Cuts
A cardiologists' lobby filed suit against Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, claiming cuts to heart care services, especially diagnostic tests, are unjustified, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. A judge has already ruled that he can't intervene on the cardiologists' behalf, leaving the doctors to go through the government's complaint process "before considering a suit."
The president of the American College of Cardiology "contends the pay cut will make doctors give up their private practices and work for hospitals," which could limit access to some services for patients, and end up costing more, since hospitals charge more for the same services. The argument for the cuts is that Medicare determined it was overpaying for the services. For instance, "spending on nuclear stress tests per Medicare beneficiary doubled between 2000 and 2006," suggesting that providers considered the services lucrative (Burling, 1/13).