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Hopes run high for passing doc fix when Senate returns in April

By Paul Demko  |  March 28, 2015

The fix isn't in yet, but it's close. The Senate adjourned for its spring break Friday without taking action on legislation permanently repealing and replacing Medicare's sustainable growth-rate physician-payment formula.

Physician staffing firms expect solid growth

By Michael Sandler  |  March 28, 2015

Physician staffing firms will reap the benefits of the nation's economic recovery, Medicare physician payment reform and the Affordable Care Act coverage expansions, experts say.

Demand grows for care coordinators in primary care

Demand grows for care coordinators in primary care

By Melanie Evans  |  March 28, 2015

A growing number of health systems, accountable care organizations and medical home-style practices are deploying care coordinators—which some call navigators. That is changing how patients get care and it's changing the jobs of doctors, nurses and other front-line providers.

Senate punts on 'doc fix'; passage expected after spring break

Senate punts on 'doc fix'; passage expected after spring break

By Paul Demko  |  March 27, 2015

There will be no doc fix until at least mid-April. The Senate adjourned for spring break on Friday morning without taking up legislation to permanently repeal Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula for paying doctors.

Labs that waive patient fees risk kickback violations, OIG says

By Lisa Schencker  |  March 26, 2015

Laboratories that waive some patients' fees as part of agreements with physician practices risk running afoul of the federal anti-kickback statute, HHS' Office of Inspector General said in an advisory opinion released Wednesday.

Lopsided House vote puts pressure on Senate to act on SGR repeal

Lopsided House vote puts pressure on Senate to act on SGR repeal

By Paul Demko  |  March 26, 2015

The overwhelming and bipartisan vote in the House to permanently repeal Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula puts pressure on the Senate to act before adjourning Friday. But it's not certain that they will given the narrow window.

House votes for permanent doc fix, bill goes to Senate

By John N. Frank , Adam Rubenfire and Paul Demko  |  March 26, 2015

The U.S. House Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of scrapping Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula, passing a permanent doc fix 392-37. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the bill “transformative in how it rewards the value, not the volume.”

SGR replacement would push docs toward value-based pay

SGR replacement would push docs toward value-based pay

By Paul Demko  |  March 25, 2015

If Congress passes a permanent fix for Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula this week, its replacement would be a two-tiered payment system that rewards adoption of new payment models.

Patient load manageable under Affordable Care Act

By Adam Rubenfire  |  March 25, 2015

Physician practices have largely not been overwhelmed since the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate went into effect last year, contrary to concerns raised by ACA critics.

VA says it will relax 40-mile rule for private medical care

By Associated Press  |  March 24, 2015

Responding to pressure from Congress and veterans groups, the Veterans Affairs Department is relaxing a rule that makes it hard for some veterans in rural areas to prove they live at least 40 miles from a VA health site.

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