Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Senate passes bipartisan Medicare bill fixing doctors' pay -

Senate passes bipartisan Medicare bill fixing doctors' pay - "WASHINGTON, April 15 (UPI) -- The Senate passed a $200 billion Medicare reform bill Tuesday, just in time to prevent a 21 percent cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.
In a rare bipartisan move, the Senate voted 92-8 to replace an unpopular "fee-for-service" payment system from 1997.

President Barack Obama said he plans to sign the bill into law, calling it a "a milestone for physicians, and for the seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare for their health care needs."

The new system will base physician fees on the quality of the care they provide as opposed to the number of services they perform. The instability of the old formula has been criticized for discouraging doctors from taking on Medicare patients.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the bill was a "solution to a broken Medicare payment system that had vexed congressional leaders of both parties for years."

"It would mean an end to the annual exercise of Congress passing a temporary 'fix' to the problem one year and then coming right up to the very same cliff the next year, without actually solving the underlying problem," McConnell said.

The bill was drafted as a compromise between House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif."

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