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Congress Should Keep Patients in Mind when Reforming Doctor Pay

Congress Patients In Mind
Senior Policy Analyst at Paragon Health Institute
Joe Albanese is a Senior Policy Analyst with Paragon Health Institute. He comes to Paragon with over six years of federal and nonprofit public policy experience.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) was able to keep the government funded through the first few weeks of January, but a possible cut in Medicare payments to doctors is still a live matter for the healthcare industry. As lawmakers face pressure from the Left and Right to take action, the question is whether to apply a Band-Aid, as they did last year, or take up more substantial Medicare reforms.

Many physicians feel that Medicare’s payments are inadequate and have gotten worse over time. Doctors face a 3.4% cut this year under the law, and the fear is they will eventually decide to stop taking Medicare patients. This could make it harder for seniors to access care.

Since 2017, the main ways doctors have been able to earn a pay raise in Medicare are either by performing well on quality metrics or by receiving bonuses to participate in “value-based” reimbursement arrangements called alternative payment models, or APMs. These include policies such as shared savings for doctors who reduce healthcare costs.

The full article can be found in the Washington Examiner.

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