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MedPAC Continues to Examine Methods on Addressing Reimbursements

Thursday, October 4, 2012  
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Members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) met this week to continue examining reimbursements paid to outpatient hospital departments and stand-alone doctor's offices.

This past winter, MedPAC recommended that payments for evaluation and management services paid to outpatient departments be lowered so they are equal to payments to doctor's offices. MedPAC is also looking at other ambulatory care services in an effort to "equalize" payments, which could save Medicare between $1 billion and $5 billion over five years.

The issue continues to gain prominence as more hospitals are purchasing physician practices and consolidating systems. Of the 100 hospitals whose payment reductions would be reduced the most, a majority are specialty hospitals and many are orthopedic/surgical hospitals.

While MedPAC noted that they are not yet at the point of crafting a draft recommendation, MDMA continues to work with the commission and policy makers to ensure that medical technology innovators obtain timely and adequate reimbursements.