The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) voted Thursday to recommend that Congress reduce Medicare reimbursement fees for office visits at hospital outpatient departments. MedPAC wants the fee structure for non-emergency offices to be the same as for services provided in a physician’s office. An assessment of the current structure shows that routine visits, consultations and preventive medicine visits that are performed in a hospital are paid at a much higher rate than when the same services are performed in a physician’s office. The recommendation comes as hospitals are hiring more private practice physicians to work in hospitals, resulting in more office visits to outpatient departments, according to a report in http://www.medpagetoday.com/
During its two-day meeting this week, MedPAC assessed a variety of Medicare payment structures and services that included ambulatory surgical centers, outpatient dialysis clinics, hospice services, skilled nursing facilities, and long-term care. A transcript of the proceedings will be available at http://www.medpac.gov/ in a few days.
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