KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Proposed Medicare Fee Schedule Includes Pay Increase For Primary Care, Family Docs

The proposed rule also would provide payment for care that helps patients make the transition back into the community following a discharge from a hospital or nursing facility.

Medscape:  CMS Proposes Primary Care Raises Funded With Specialist Cuts
Medicare would reduce reimbursement for many types of specialists to fund sizable raises for primary care physicians in 2013, according to a proposed fee schedule that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released today.  These reductions and raises are apart from the huge pay cut — now put at 27% — set for January 1, 2013, that is triggered by Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula, and likely to be postponed by Congress (Lowes, 7/6).

Modern Healthcare: CMS Proposes 7% Pay Hike For Family Docs
In a proposed rule released late Friday, the CMS included a slew of potential changes to the physician-fee schedule for 2013, including a 7% payment increase for family physicians and smaller increases for other primary-care doctors. The proposed pay hike for family physicians comes from a plan to reimburse such providers separately for providing successful follow-up care after a patient's hospital or nursing-home stay, the CMS said (McKinney, 7/6).

Medpage Today: CMS Proposes Primary Care Pay Raise For 2013
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule that would give family physicians a 7 percent pay boost in 2013. The proposal released Friday also would increase Medicare payments to other primary care practitioners by between 3 percent and 5 percent. "Helping primary care doctors will help improve patient care and lower healthcare costs long term," CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a press release (Walker, 7/6).

In related news -

The Wall Street Journal: Medicare Tries To Cut The Cost Of Its Most Complex Patients
Medicare is trying new tactics to cut costs for complex patients and keep them healthier, although some health-policy observers say they don't go far enough (Adamy, 7/6). 

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