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 will reap the benefits of the nation's economic recovery, Medicare physician payment reform and the Affordable Care Act coverage expansions, experts say.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
The House bill that would repeal Medicare's sustainable-growth rate formula for paying physicians would also keep alive a popular graduate medical education program for at least two more years.
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.
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.
President Barack Obama says he's ready to sign good bipartisan legislation to fix Medicare's doctor payment problem, without endorsing any specific legislation.
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.