Medicare Report Details Provider Penalties, Incentives
The Wall Street Journal writes that, according to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services report, more than 460,000 providers failed to comply with the Physician Quality Reporting System in 2013.
The Wall Street Journal:
Medicare-Provider Penalties, Incentives Detailed In Report
Nearly 40% of health-care providers treating Medicare patients will have their payments docked 1.5% this year because they didn’t submit data on patients’ health to the government, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said. More than 460,000 providers failed to comply with the Physician Quality Reporting System in 2013, of about 1.25 million eligible providers, according to the CMS report released last week. Some 70% of those that didn’t participate treat fewer than 100 Medicare patients a year, the agency said. (Beck, 4/26)
KHN earlier, related coverage: Medicare Is Stingy In First Year Of Doctor Bonuses (Rau, 4/6).
Meanwhile, on the topic of Medicare and ACOs -
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Insurers Take First Steps To Change How Doctors, Hospitals Are Paid
A nationwide initiative to make the fragmented and costly health care system more efficient could affect the more than 340,000 people in Wisconsin enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. Most probably are unaware that anything has changed. But there's a chance their care could be more coordinated, adhere more closely to clinical guidelines and cost less because of the initiative. Humana and UnitedHealthcare — two of the largest health insurers that offer Medicare Advantage plans — are striking agreements with what are known as accountable care organizations. The organizations, also known as ACOs, have become one of the key levers in the effort to improve the quality of care and slow the rise in costs. (Boulton, 4/26)
And a caution about signing up late for Medicare Part B -
Los Angeles Times:
Signing Up Late For Medicare Part B Can Trigger A Lifelong Penalty
If Robert Bowman hadn't casually mentioned his upcoming 65th birthday to a friend, he might have missed his window to sign up for Medicare. "He said you better sign up now because there's a penalty for signing up late. I didn't know that," says Bowman, a 65-year-old former tow truck driver who lives in Torrance. Everyday 10,000 baby boomers — people age 51 to 69 — turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. According to a recent survey by the Medicare Rights Center in New York, many are unclear about whether and when to sign up for Part B, which covers outpatient medical care, including most doctor visits. (Zamosky, 4/26)