KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Signs Bill Changing How Medicare Collects Money In Negligence Cases

The bill had bipartisan support and could help beneficiaries who sometimes wait months for injury-related settlements.

Politico Pro: Obama Signs Medicare Secondary Payer Overhaul
President Barack Obama signed legislation Thursday intended to simplify a complex and convoluted process that has caused Medicare patients to wait months for injury-related settlement checks. The new law's backers say patients have died or seen their homes foreclosed while waiting for settlement checks as a result of the existing process (Cheney, 1/10).

The Hill: Obama Signs Medicare Bill
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) took a victory lap Thursday as President Obama signed a bipartisan Medicare bill. The legislation changes the way Medicare collects money from people whose negligence caused a patient to incur medical bills (Baker, 1/10).

In other Medicare news --

MedPage Today: MedPAC Again Backs SGR Repeal
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) will ... take Congress to the woodshed on the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula by yet another demand for repeal and replacement of that universally reviled payment scheme. That recommendation will be delivered in MedPAC's annual report to Congress, which is set for March 15. The commission, which advises Congress on Medicare payment issues, made the same proposal in an October 2011 letter to lawmakers. MedPAC has voted to repeal the SGR since as early as 2001. "We think that left as it is, the SGR will only grow as an increasing threat to access to care with Medicare beneficiaries," MedPAC Chair Glenn Hackbarth, JD, said during Thursday's meeting (Pittman, 1/10).

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