A note at ModernHealthcare.com mentions the continual problem with Medicare reimbursement to doctors. Under the current system, reimbursements should be cut by about 5% each year. Of course if the government actually did that, no doctors would see Medicare patients. So Congress has to “fudge” the law each year. Here’s the note from the Web site:
A House bill would tie Medicare physician payments to the Medicare Economic Index, yielding a 1.8% increase for 2007 instead of a scheduled cut of about 4.6%. Medicare’s current system for valuing physician services — known as the sustainable growth rate formula — “doesn’t work,” said Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), the bill’s sponsor. The bill would replace the sustainable growth rate formula with the Medicare Economic Index “minus 1%,” according to Burgess’ office. It also would require physicians to report certain quality measurements to the CMS. A companion bill hasn’t been introduced in the Senate.