KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medicare Doc Pay Anxiety Chills Physicians’ Interest In Demo Programs

A survey by the Medical Group Management Association concluded that physicians' willingness to try new models of payment and delivery -- such as accountable care organizations and bundled payments -- is linked to congressional efforts to fix the Medicare doctor payment formula.  

Medscape: SGR Jitters Deter Physicians From New Medicare Pay Models
Uncertainty about a 27% cut in Medicare reimbursement scheduled for January 1 is deterring 54% of physician practices from participating in Medicare experiments to eventually replace fee-for-service payment, according to a new survey released yesterday by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). However, 30% of practices would be much more likely to embrace reform-minded models of payment and delivery — and 52% somewhat more likely — if Congress passed legislation stabilizing Medicare reimbursement for 5 years. The new Medicare models include accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, as well as reimbursement methods such as bundled payments and shared savings (Lowes, 10/23).

CQ HealthBeat: Lobbyists For Physician Practices Seek To Draw Attention To Doc Fix With New Survey
Almost one in five physician practices in the U.S. say they participate in a Medicare payment demonstration or new reimbursement model, according to the findings of a trade association survey. Most of those who are not part of such efforts blamed the lack of payment predictability due to scheduled Medicare physician payment cuts or onerous requirements for the demonstrations (Adams, 10/23).

And about that 'fiscal cliff' -

The Medicare NewsGroup: Driving Off The Fiscal Cliff: Will Providers Be There After The Crash?
A planned 2 percent cut in Medicare spending, scheduled to take effect in January 2013 unless Congress intervenes, would limit patients' access to essential health care, say industry leaders and policy analysts. Provider organizations, beneficiary advocates and others, however, are voicing strong words of caution that the cuts to Medicare represent a real danger to patient care. The medical lobby says Medicare patients will be the ultimate victims because of reduced access to care at hospitals and at doctors’ offices. … The sequestration cuts are dictated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and were designed to be a painful stick to prod the Congressional supercommittee to adopt deficit reduction measures by November 2011 (Bates, 10/23).

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