Key Medicare physician pay reform bill introduced in Congress

A bill has been introduced in Congress to tie the Medicare physician payment schedule to the Medicare Economic Index, a move that is essential to protecting access to high-quality care for the 65 million older adult Americans covered by Medicare.

By instituting an annual inflation-based update, the legislation would put physicians on equal footing with virtually all other health professionals and organizations paid by Medicare. Physician payment rates have been subject to a six-year payment freeze that will last until 2026 and are seeing 2% across-the-board Medicare pay cuts that started in January.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

1 in 3 doctors has seen prior auth lead to serious adverse event

While health insurers claim prior-authorization requirements are used for cost and quality control, a vast majority of physicians say authorization protocols lead to unnecessary waste and avoidable patient harm.

One-third of the 1,001 physicians surveyed by the AMA in December reported that prior authorization has led to a serious adverse event for a patient in their care.

More specifically, the AMA survey found that these shares of the physician respondents reported that prior authorization led to:

  • A patient’s hospitalization—25%.
  • A life-threatening event or one that required intervention to prevent permanent impairment or damage—19%.
  • A patient’s disability or permanent bodily damage, congenital anomaly or birth defect, or death—9%.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.