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Ending the Physician Payment Crisis: Another Reason for Major Medicare Reform

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Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): John S. O'Shea

Series: WebMemo

Topic: Health (Health care financing)

Keywords: Medicare; physician payment; Health care

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


Under existing congressional formulas, Medicare payment rates for the services that physicians provide to Medicare beneficiaries will be reduced by 10 percent in July of this year. Instead of reforming this broken payment system, Congress will doubtless resort to another short-term fix, repeating the annual congressional fire drill to make sure that its own Medicare pricing system, featuring complex fee schedules and price controls, does not actually go into effect and wreak havoc on doctors and undercut access to care among Medicare patients.