House Leaders Pursue Deal To Change Medicare’s Payment Formula For Doctors
The bipartisan negotiations reportedly would also include an extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program, but financing is still a problem and some senators are concerned about the contours of the deal.
A Boehner-Pelosi Prescription For Medicare Doc Fixes
In a rare display of bipartisanship, House leaders are actively pursuing a deal to permanently change the way Medicare pays doctors and extend a children’s health program for two years. ... While details are still being ironed out, the basic contours are clear: The plan would permanently eliminate the Sustainable Growth Rate, the outdated formula that calls for frequent and deep cuts to Medicare providers, and replace it with a new payment system. This is a priority for both parties to end the need for frequent “doc fixes.” The plan would also extend funding for two years for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is set to expire in September. (Haberkorn and Rogers, 3/15)
House Leaders Close In On $200B Medicare Deal
House leaders are closing in on a deal to permanently avert cuts in payments to physicians under Medicare, two House aides confirmed Friday. The deal would offset only about $70 billion of the more than $200 billion cost of making the permanent fix, however. This would likely draw opposition from conservatives over budget concerns. (Ferris and Sullivan, 3/13)
The Associated Press:
Senate Dems Threaten To Oppose Deal On Medicare Doc Fees
Democratic senators would oppose a potential House bipartisan deal preventing cuts in physicians' Medicare payments if it doesn't finance a children's health program for four years, senior Senate Democratic aides said Sunday. The aides issued the threat as House bargainers try preventing a 21 percent reduction in doctors' Medicare reimbursements scheduled for April 1. Negotiators want to craft an agreement annulling a 1997 formula that annually threatens deep cuts in those payments. (Fram, 3/15)
Lawmakers Said To Seek Medicare Fee Changes
The doctors who treat Medicare patients would avoid a cut in their government reimbursements under a proposal to be presented to U.S. House members next week, according to Republican and Democratic aides. The bipartisan $200 billion framework to replace Medicare’s cost-containment formula for doctor reimbursement was negotiated by House leaders of both parties and members of the committees with jurisdiction over Medicare. (Rowley, 3/13)
Kaiser Health News:
FAQ: Could Congress Be Ready To Fix Medicare Pay For Doctors?
With a deadline fast approaching, bipartisan negotiations are heating up in the House to find a permanent replacement for Medicare’s physician payment formula. But the tentative package being hammered out behind closed doors contains some key provisions that are likely to raise objections from both Republicans and Democrats. Unless Congress takes action by the end of this month, doctors who treat Medicare patients will see a 21 percent payment cut. (Carey, 3/16)
The Fiscal Times:
Will Congress Keep Your Doctor From Dropping Out Of Medicare?
There are things that happen every year even though they don’t have to — or clearly shouldn’t. That includes the annual crisis over adjusting the payments to Medicare providers, which is now looming again over Capitol Hill. Unless Congress takes action by the end of the month, reimbursement levels will drop by 21 percent. (Garver, 3/13)
In other Medicare news, The Wall Street Journal examines funding for long-term care hospitals.
The Wall Street Journal:
Medicare Panel Faults Payment Fix As Too Weak
A planned overhaul of Medicare payments to long-term hospitals doesn’t go far enough, a congressional advisory panel said, and it called for further changes to discourage timing patients’ discharges to financial incentives. Long-term-care hospitals get smaller payments for short visits, but after patients stay for a certain number of days the payments jump to much larger lump sums. (Weaver, Wilde Mathews and McGinty, 3/15)