Medicare Panel Urges Cuts to Hospital Payments for Services Doctors Offer for Less

A federal advisory panel said that Congress should move
immediately to cut payments to hospitals for many services that can be provided
at much lower cost in doctors’ offices. The Medicare Payment Advisory
Commission said the current payment disparities had created incentives for
hospitals to buy physician practices, driving up costs for the Medicare program
and for beneficiaries. Hospital buyouts of doctors, turning independent
practitioners into hospital employees, have also led to higher spending by
private insurers and higher co-payments for their policyholders, the commission
said. Congress often adopts ideas suggested by the commission, and hospital executives
fear that could happen again as lawmakers search for ways to squeeze savings
out of Medicare.

Source/more: New York Times

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