Obama Official Pledges “Adjustments” to Controversial Medicare Proposal

A top Obama administration health official has told Congress that the administration would make “adjustments” to a controversial Medicare drug pricing proposal to respond to concerns before it is finalized. “We are reviewing the comments now and plan to make adjustments in the final rule,” Dr. Patrick Conway, the No. 2 official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said at hearing of the Senate Finance Committee. Conway, however, defended the overall approach, and it is expected that the administration will go forward with finalizing the rule despite the controversy. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed serious concerns with the administration’s proposal, which aims to fight high drug prices by changing the way Medicare Part B pays for drugs. Currently, Medicare pays doctors the average price of a drug plus 6 percent. The administration warns that system gives doctors an incentive to prescribe higher-cost drugs so that they get paid more. The pilot program would reduce the 6 percent add-on to 2.5 percent plus a flat fee of about $16. Republicans have called for the proposal to be scrapped altogether, while Democrats have expressed major reservations and called for changes.

Source/more: The Hill

David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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