Medicare Tightens Oversight Of Drug Prescribing
ProPublica reports the program can now expel physicians found to prescribe drugs in abusive ways. Another piece examines three California doctors who are among the top five nationally in billing Medicare for the most complex office visits.
ProPublica: Following Abuses, Medicare Tightens Reins On Drug Program
The federal government has granted itself potent new authority to expel physicians from Medicare if they are found to prescribe drugs in abusive ways, following through on a proposal issued earlier this year. Under the rule finalized Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also will compel health providers to enroll in Medicare to order medications for patients covered by its drug program, known as Part D. This requirement closes a loophole that had allowed some practitioners to operate with little or no oversight from Medicare (Ornstein, 5/20).
Kaiser Health News: California Doctors Among Those Charging Medicare The Most For Office Visits
When people think of seeing a doctor, generally the first thing that comes to mind is an office visit. But not all visits are the same. Frequently, patients have minor problems, which can be dispensed with quickly. Other problems are much more complex and require more of a doctor’s time and expertise. Not surprisingly, doctors get paid more for these more complex visits. Office visits for established patients are billed across five levels.” Three California doctors are among the top five nationally in billing for the most complex office visits (Aliferis, Dembosky and Pickoff-White, 5/21).