MedPAC Offers Possible Offsets For Medicare Physician Pay Fix
Still, Obama's deficit-reduction plan, released yesterday, includes no funding for the doc fix. Some are eyeing a Medicaid adjustment that will garner $13 billion in savings as a possible source of money - but competition is stiff for these funds.
CQ HealthBeat: MedPAC Unveils Offset List
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission on Monday released a draft list of proposals it says could be used to offset the cost of overhauling the Medicare physician payment formula. The offsets are divided into two categories: $50 billion in savings would come from proposals that have been recommended by the commission in previous reports or comments letters, and $180 billion would come from suggestions by such outside groups as the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Inspector General and the Congressional Budget Office (Reichard, 9/19).
Politico Pro: Obama Plan Has No Funding For 'Doc Fix'
President Barack Obama's new deficit plan assumes that Washington will not allow the more than 30 percent pay cut to Medicare providers to take effect — but it also assumes that a permanent "doc fix" will add to the deficit because Congress won't pay for it. In earlier budget negotiations, Democrats and doctors had pushed for a permanent elimination of the Sustainable Growth Rate payment formula, which has been on the books since 1997. But the administration does not propose paying for this fix in the deficit plan released Monday. Instead, it adds the cost of paying for the doc fix — which the administration calculates as $293 billion — to the overall deficit (Feder, 9/20).
Politico Pro: Medicaid Fix Is A Pay-For-But Pay For What?
Amid Congress's singular focus on deficit reduction, Sen. Ben Nelson has found about 13 billion reasons to be happy. The centrist Democrat from Nebraska is sitting on a health care bill that has Republican support and is priced to move. It would save about $13 billion over 10 years by fixing a Medicaid formula miscalculation embedded in the health reform law. The bill's bipartisan leanings and generous score make it doubly attractive to lawmakers always on the lookout for "pay-fors" — and there are a lot of things that lawyers and lobbyists would like to pay for, whether it's a highway, the "doc fix" or deficit reduction (Dobias, 9/20).