Paying Providers More In Some Parts Of Country Won’t Solve Access Issues
In a new report, the Institute of Medicine concludes that raising Medicare reimbursements for some areas of the country will not necessarily address the physician shortage.
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Higher Payments Are No Cure For Doctor Shortage
Medicare should not try to address the shortages of doctors and health care providers in some areas of the country by raising reimbursements to lure practitioners there, the Institute of Medicine recommended Tuesday (Rau, 7/17).
CQ Healthbeat: IOM: Changes in Medicare Geographic Adjustment May Not Improve Access
The geographic adjustments in Medicare reimbursements to hospitals and doctors have historically received plenty of criticism from rural advocates. But changing them may not do much to meet such national policy goals as increasing access and quality for patients, an Institute of Medicine committee said Tuesday(Norman, 7/17).
Santa Cruz Sentinel/Sacramento Bee: Doctors Who Receive Among Lowest Medicare Payments In Nation Optimistic About New Findings
Santa Cruz County in California has the highest hospital wage index in the nation, higher than San Francisco, Los Angeles and Manhattan, but Medicare payments to Santa Cruz County doctors are among the lowest. It's more difficult to attract physicians here when they can get higher reimbursements practicing over the county line in Los Gatos or San Jose. The Institute of Medicine produced the new report after analyzing the impact of adjusting payments based on the regional variations in the costs of providing health care, such as rents and wages. Federal law requires geographic adjustments to be budget neutral, so any increase in the amount paid to one hospital or practitioner must be offset by a decrease to others (Gumz, 7/17).