Last Tuesday, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to change the way that Medicare pays physicians. The passage prevented a 21 percent cut in doctors’ pay. President Barack Obama signed the bill into action two days later.
Since the 1990s, Medicare payments have been correlated to economic growth under a plan called the Sustainable Growth Rate. The new formula aims to pay doctors according to quality of care. The Children’s Health Insurance Program and community health centers will also be funded for two more years and high-income physicians will pay higher premiums.
The passage of the $214 billion dollar deal was a bipartisan effort, which is significant because health care legislation has barely moved through Congress in the past five years, since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. However, critics argue that since the bill doesn’t specify quality standards, Congress may not be able to adequately assess doctors’ quality of care.
What are your thoughts on the new bill? Share them with us in the comments.