Physician Payment, Home Health Out-Of-Pocket Costs Grab Headlines
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's latest report casts the challenges surrounding Medicare physician payment as an "opportunity" to hasten needed reform. Additionally, an analysis by Avalere Health measures the impact of a proposal for home health co-payments.
Modern Healthcare: SGR Woes Offer Opportunity, MedPAC Says
Rather than creating a crisis, problems associated with the Medicare sustainable growth-rate physician reimbursement formula have created the chance to make needed reforms, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's report to Congress. With the Congressional Budget Office projecting a 29.4 percent SGR-induced cut in the Medicare physician pay rate, it was noted in the MedPAC report how "the prospect of replacing the SGR could serve as a vehicle for hastening at least some elements of reform" (Robeznieks, 6/15).
CQ HealthBeat: About Half Of Medicare Patients Would Pay Home Health Copay Out Of Their Pockets
If Congress passed a $150 copayment for home health care, almost 55 percent of Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay the new cost out of their pockets, according to a new analysis by Avalere Health. The consulting firm evaluated the impact of a copay for each 60-day home care treatment period. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended in its March report that Congress should direct the Health and Human Services secretary to add a copayment for home health. Commissioners said that adding such a fee would sensitize patients to the cost of the benefit, and discussed setting such a copayment at $150 (Adams, 6/15).