MASSDEVICE ON CALL — A bipartisan U.S. House bill would end the cycle of so-called "doc fixes" that have averted Medicare reimbursement cuts since rate hikes were linked to the sustainable growth rate in 1997.
Legislators most recently enacted a bypass of a looming rate cut last month as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations, averting a 27% pay cut for Medicare payments to physicians.
Now Reps. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Joe Heck (R-Nev.) want to peg those payments to patient outcomes, replacing the SGR and the fee-for-service model that dominates U.S. medicine, The Hill reports.
Medicare spending growth slows
The Schwartz/Heck bill could gain support now that the Congressional Budget Office reports that Medicare spending is slowing at a faster rate that projected for 3 years running.
External neurostim for migraine?
Put that Botox down, migraine sufferers – a new study in the journal Neurology shows that external neurostimulation of the supraorbital nerve could alleviate those head-crushers.
Contract manufacturers must reveal doc payments too
The Physician Payment Sunshine Act requires medical device contract manufacturers to reveal payments and gifts to physicians, even when all they do is help design and develop the product.