KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Steps Toward A Permanent Medicare ‘Doc Fix’?

Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., and Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., introduced the latest bill Wednesday aimed at reforming how Medicare pays health care providers and preventing a scheduled, Jan. 1, 2013 cut to physician reimbursement rates. The bipartisan measure would replace Medicare's current pay formula.

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Progress Made On How Medicare Pays Doctors
A Democratic congresswoman and Republican congressman made a small move forward in an effort to change the way Medicare pays doctors Wednesday, introducing a bill that would end regular congressional scrambles to stave off physician pay cuts by tapping savings from winding down the war in Afghanistan (WSJ Staff, 5/9).

The Hill: Lawmakers Propose A Permanent 'Doc Fix'
Reps. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Joe Heck (R-Nev.) introduced a bill Wednesday to reform how Medicare pays healthcare providers and to avoid a cut to reimbursement rates on Jan. 1. The bipartisan measure would repeal Medicare's current reimbursement formula and replace it with a new system of payment models. It would also give doctors small boosts in payment rates for four years (Viebeck, 5/9).

CQ HealthBeat: House Democrat Tries Again At Overhauling Medicare Payments To Physicians
Democrat Allyson Y. Schwartz and Republican Joe Heck introduced draft legislation Wednesday in the House that they hope will create a path toward solving the nagging problem of how to pay physicians who treat Medicare patients (Ethridge, 5/9).

Medscape: Bill Would Repeal SGR, Phase Out Medicare Fee-for-Service
The Schwartz-Heck bill lays out a complicated timetable for reforming Medicare's system for paying physicians: In 2013, reimbursement rates would remain at 2012 levels. From 2014 to 2017, Medicare would raise rates by an annual 2.5% for primary care, preventive, and care-coordination services. Rates for all other physician services would increase by 0.5% annually (Lowes, 5/9).

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