Congress Considers Legislation to Reform Physician Payment Policies
Congress is currently considering legislation that would provide annual positive updates for physician services under Medicare.
Introduced by a bipartisan group of physician members of Congress, the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act would provide annual inflationary updates for Medicare physician services. Under the current physician payment system, physicians do not receive annual adjustments. This is unique in Medicare payments, as other components of the health system, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and other stakeholders, do receive annual adjustments. As a result of this flaw, Medicare physician payments have lagged 26% behind the rate of inflation growth since 2001.
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