President Obama said that he is ready to sign good bipartisan legislation to fix Medicare's physician payment issues. Currently, physicians are going to face a 21% payment reduction due to the sustainable growth rate formula.
The House bills will implement a period of stable reimbursements, followed by shifting the conditions of physician's pay to quality rather than quantity of service. The Medicare fix also has an extension of children's health insurance, funding for community health centers and other provisions. Conservatives are worried about the majority of the cost being added to the federal deficit. Liberals object to higher premiums for upper-income beneficiaries, while drug companies are not sharing the burden through Medicare rebates.
The Obama Administration also announced its Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, which is a cost-cutting initiative. The program is aimed at associating more payments for health care services to the quality and not the quantity of services performed. The administration originally set a goal this year to link 30% of Medicare payments to quality, but Obama wants to increase this percentage.
Summary by MedicalGroups.com
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