Monday, March 12, 2012

Docs Take on Payment Changes, Bipartisan Medicare Reform

How To Pay Physicians

"A new independent panel, made up mostly of doctors, will tackle the thorny issue of physician pay, but it won't be dealing with the sustainable growth rate issue.  The Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) announced Monday that it's launching the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform to assess physician payment issues and to develop recommendations on how to reform the doctor payment system while keeping costs in check and improving patient care."

"Unlike the bipartisan debt reduction committee that recently agreed to the bill that delays the impending 27% cut in Medicare pay rates for 10 months, the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform won't delve into the SGR or budget issues, such as how to pay for payment and delivery system reform.  'We're talking about how doctors get paid, not how Congress solves its budget issues,' Schroeder said."

Taking the politics out (mostly), but keeping the special interests of providers in.

Prospects for Medicare Agreement

MISSED THIS LAST WEEK, BUT STILL OF INTEREST:  "Before Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced their 'Bipartisan Options for the Future' on December 15, 2011, the notion that Democrats and Republicans agreed about certain aspects of Medicare might have seemed unthinkable.  But the pairing of a liberal Democrat who has long worked on health care reforms and a fiscally conservative Republican primarily known for work on budget issues suggests that it might be possible for the parties to reach a compromise on Medicare reform."

"Of course, meaningful reform is not likely to occur in 2012: any significant reform probably won't happen until the public sends a clearer signal about the kinds of change it will tolerate, which won't be possible until after the fall elections.  Yet some Republicans and Democrats appear to be in substantial agreement about some changes that might make Medicare more efficient, effective, and fiscally sustainable -- even if none of these changes are universally accepted by either party as desirable or even tolerable."

Perspectives that are worth reading and understanding.


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