KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Fewer Doctors Treating Medicare Patients, CMS Says

Amid payment rates and rules they dislike, more doctors are opting to not treat Medicare patients, say the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In the meantime, health care providers ready different models to change how Medicare pays doctors.

The Wall Street Journal: More Doctors Steer Clear Of Medicare
Fewer American doctors are treating patients enrolled in the Medicare health program for seniors, reflecting frustration with its payment rates and pushback against mounting rules, according to health experts. The number of doctors who opted out of Medicare last year, while a small proportion of the nation's health professionals, nearly tripled from three years earlier, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that administers the program. Other doctors are limiting the number of Medicare patients they treat even if they don't formally opt out of the system (Beck, 7/28).

CQ HealthBeat: Alternative Methods For Medicare Payment At The Heart Of 'Doc Fix' Bill
Health care providers are ready with a variety of payment models they say have already worked in the private sector and should be recognized under the Medicare physician payment system created in a House bill. Under the House bill that would replace Medicare's current physician payment formula, physicians would be allowed to enter into alternative payment models -- some already in progress and some yet to be created (Ethridge, 7/26).

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