CBO Portends ‘Heavy Lifting’ To Avert Medicare Doc Pay Reduction
The report offers cost estimates for a range of approaches that would head off a 29.4 percent reduction in Medicare physician payments scheduled to kick in Jan. 1, 2012. Meanwhile, in other news, a plan to curb the overuse of costly medical imaging demonstrates the difficulties posed by attempting even small changes in the health insurance program for seniors.
CQ HealthBeat: CBO Issues New Medicare Payment Fix Estimates
The Congressional Budget Office has issued cost estimates for a range of different approaches to heading off a 29.4 percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 all of which show Congress has a lot of heavy lifting ahead to find ways to avert the cut. The 10-year cost of the various payment options range from $22 billion to freeze payments next year at current levels and then revert to a 34 percent cut in 2013 to $388 billion to increase payments two percent each year from 2012 to 2021 (6/14).
Kaiser Health News: Doctors Balk At Proposal To Cut Medicare's Use Of Imaging
Kaiser Health News staff writers Mary Agnes Carey and Marilyn Werber Serafini report: "Even before its official release, a new proposal to curb the overuse of costly MRIs and other advanced imaging in Medicare is sparking a furor among physician and patient groups. The battle shows how hard it is to make even small changes in the sprawling program for the elderly much less overhaul it" (Carey and Serafini, 6/14).