KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

MedPac Urges Feds To Cut Payments To Private Insurers

Reuters: The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac) on Monday issued nonbinding recommendations that Medicare "cut U.S. government payments to private insurers and home healthcare providers." The panel, which is an independent body set up to advise Congress on Medicare, "repeated its earlier call for the federal government to pay private insurers that offer coverage known as Medicare Advantage the same as it pays when Medicare reimburses providers directly."

According to a statement from the panel, "[t]he commission 'remains concerned that Medicare's payments to (Medicare Advantage) plans will again exceed' Medicare's fee-for-service program." Reuters reports that the panel reiterated "'its recommendation for financial neutrality' between both types of payments. ... Congress is considering cuts to Medicare Advantage and other sectors as part of the stalled healthcare reform legislation" (Richwine, 3/1).

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