MedPAC Plan To Revamp Medicare Physician Pay Draws Intense Opposition
Providers, including doctors and hospitals, say the panel is relying too much on cuts within the industry to pay for this overhaul.
CQ HealthBeat: Docs, Hospitals Rip MedPAC On Physician Pay Proposal
A proposal by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to revamp the Medicare physician reimbursement system is drawing intense opposition from providers who say commissioners are demanding too much in health industry cuts to pay for the overhaul. Sternly worded letters from the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA), along with physician specialty groups, will be in MedPAC's mailbox when the commission meets Thursday. The first item on the agenda is a resumed discussion of a Medicare doctor reimbursement formula that lawmakers, experts and providers agree is deeply flawed and repeatedly in crisis (Norman, 10/5).
Politico Pro: MedPAC May OK Its Doc Pay Plan
MedPAC is expected to formally endorse its controversial plan to overhaul the physician payment formula Thursday morning, but some health care lobbyists voiced doubts that the proposal to cut specialists' pay and freeze primary care doctors' will go further than that. "We fully anticipate they will adopt the entire package and we're not happy about it," a lobbyist for one provider group said. "But will it play a major role at the super committee? We don't think so. It's just not palatable — too many people are opposed to it." Congress has repeatedly blocked physician fee cuts far more modest than the MedPAC proposal, which would cut specialists by 17 percent and freeze the primary care physicians pay (Norman, 10/6).
The Hill: Hospitals Say Cost Of SGR Fix Shouldn't Fall To Providers
The Medicare Payments Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is considering a draft recommendation to replace the unpopular sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. The SGR calls for annual, automatic cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, which Congress always delays, allowing the cuts to accumulate. MedPAC is considering a 10-year replacement that would be offset by cuts to most medical specialties. But the American Hospital Association said health care providers shouldn't have to foot the bill for a new formula. "Offsetting the cost of the repeal with Medicare cuts to hospitals and other providers is merely 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' and is the wrong approach," the AHA said in a letter to MedPAC (Baker, 10/5).