Lawmakers push super committee to make major Medicare pay reforms

By CHARLES FIEGL – Amednews Staff:   Washington — Some lawmakers have joined physician associations in calling on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to enact major Medicare reforms as it attempts to lower future deficits by at least $1.2 trillion. Sen. Patty Murray (D, Wash.), co-chair of the special congressional panel, has said everything, including […]

AMA launches multi-million dollar ad campaign urging Congress to repeal SGR now

The AMA launched a TV and radio advertising campaign to urge patients and physicians to tell Congress that the time for repeal of the broken Medicare physician payment formula is now. The ads are part of the AMA’s grassroots effort to urge patients and physicians to contact Congress and encourage repeal of the sustainable growth rate […]

OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Massachusetts past haunts Romney

By Julian Pecquet – The Hill:  The Republican primary got a lot nastier on Monday after Texas Gov. Rick Perry released one of the most effective ads so far linking front-runner Mitt Romney to the federal healthcare reform law reviled by so many in the GOP. Aspects of the law — especially its government subsidies […]

Physicians Oppose MedPAC Prosposal and Seek Tort Reform from Deficit Committee

By Jay Nawrocki – Wolters Kluwer Law & Business: Several physician groups voiced strong concerns to recommendations adopted by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) that would replace the sustainable growth rate formula (SGR) with a 10 year schedule of payment reductions and payment freezes for physicians.   In addition, 98 physician groups sent a letter to […]

Medicare advisory group recommends SGR repeal, catch-up for PCP

By:  Annette M. Boyle, – Modern Medicine: The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has voted 15-2 to recommend to Congress a plan that repeals the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and replaces it with a mechanism to keep rates steady for primary care physicians (PCPs) over the next decade while cutting payments to specialists. “The [SGR] system—the […]

Medicare’s Payments to Physicians: The Budgetary Impact of Alternative Policies

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that, under current law, payment rates for physician services will be reduced by 29.4 percent in 2012. That large reduction called for under current law follows several years of legislative action to either maintain or increase physician payment rates under the Medicare program when those rates were otherwise scheduled […]

Fixing Medicare’s Physician Payment System

Bruce C. Vladeck, Ph.D. –  New England Journal of Medicine: Now that Congress has completed the epochal, exhausting, and contentious task of enacting comprehensive health care reform, it must confront another health care issue that is perhaps even more politically difficult: reform of Medicare’s physician payment system. On April 15, Congress voted to postpone a […]

Medicare Physician Payment Updates and the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) System

Jim Hahn – Analyst in Health Care Financing, Congressional Research Service: Each year since 2002, the statutory method for determining the annual updates to the Medicare physician fee schedule, known as the sustainable growth rate (SGR) system, has resulted in a reduction in the reimbursement rates (or a “negative update”). With the exception of 2002, when a […]

Large Pay Cut For Doctors By Medicare And Medicaid Services

Medical News Today: A long awaited cut in physician pay has been proposed by the CMS (Centers for Medicare andMedicaid Services) in its Medicare Physician Fee Schedule in calendar year 2012. The CMS has been told to base its fee schedule on current payment rules, which effectively means a 29.5% drop in reimbursements starting in 2012 – […]

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