Senate Fixes Medicare Payments to Doctors

medicare payments to doctors

Senate saves Medicare payments to doctors

The Senate recently passed a bipartisan bill that prevents a 21% cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients. It was passed just in time to stop doctors from getting significantly smaller payments. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

 

This encourages doctors to accept Medicare

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the bill would “ensure seniors on Medicare don’t lose access to their doctors.” If Medicare reimbursements to doctors aren’t at risk to be cut, more doctors would accept Medicare patients.

 

What does this bill change?

This bill repeals the current Medicare payment formula for doctors. With the new formula, payments to doctors would increase by 0.5% every year through 2019. After that, doctors would get bonuses or penalties depending on performance scores from the government. Scores would be based on the value of care provided and not on how many patients were seen.

 

A better solution than in previous years

This new bill would end the annual scramble to pass a temporary patch to keep doctor’s payments from being reduced. Congress has been struggling with a “flawed formula” since it was enacted in 1997.

McConnell also said, “It would mean an end to the annual exercise of Congress passing a temporary ‘fix’ to the problem one year and then coming right up to the very same cliff the next year, without actually solving the underlying problem.”

 

Next Step  Get the full story at USA Today

 

By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Salon

 

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