Nearly a week after a 21 percent cut to the Medicare reimbursement rate for doctors went into effect, the U.S. Congress voted to stop the cut for another six months.
The leaders of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are at loggerheads over a 21 percent Medicare reimbursement rate cut that went into effect June 18, stalling a move to stave off the cut for six months.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the U.S. Senate’s vote to delay a Medicare reimbursement rate cut last week “a great disappointment,” spraying a dash of cold water on hopes that the House would approve the stay this week.
As Congress allowed a 21 percent reduction in reimbursement rates for doctors to come into effect, the number of physicians pulling out of Medicare was already on an upward trend.
The number of individuals enrolling in the program is increasing as Baby Boomers reach age 65 and qualify for Medicare.
Congress is set to restore Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians next week, meaning a de facto 2.2 percent pay raise, after a 21 percent cut went into effect today.
The rollback would only last six months, however, meaning further rate cuts could be in store down the road.
Republican lawmakers are using rhetoric borrowed from their anti-healthcare reform playbook to oppose the nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it no longer believes a separate coverage indication is necessary for magnetic resonance angiography, opening the procedure to the same reimbursement consideration as a traditional MRI.
The decision reverses an earlier stand by the national insurer on a procedure that tests for stenosis in arteries as different from traditional MRIs.
President Barack Obama officially nominated Dr. Donald Berwick to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The position will play a critical role for healthcare reform. Berwick, not a career bureaucrat like many of his predecessors, holds professorships at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health in pediatrics and healthcare policy and is the co-founder and president of the Cambridge, Mass. based Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
President Barack Obama found a point man for critical healthcare reform initiatives including comparative effectiveness research and cost-control, nominating Dr. Donald Berwick to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Several reports, linked to White House officials, point to Berwick, a Harvard medical school professor, pediatrician, and president and CEO of the Cambridge, Mass.-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement, as the man for the top job at CMS, a role that hasn’t had a permanent inhabitant for four years.
Hyland Software Inc. launched OnBase software to help small healthcare providers meaningfully use health information technology.
The OnBase software is designed to handle paper-based content that the MEDITECH healthcare information system doesn’t in an affordable, easy-to-manage way so healthcare providers can comply with new “meaningful use” rules.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shifted gears on its reimbursement policy for both standard and rapid HIV tests, in an attempt to catch more undiagnosed cases in vulnerable populations.
The national insurer changing a statute to make it easier for people whose behavior puts them at greater risk of contracting the virus to get annual screening.
CMS said it will now reimburse physicians for annual HIV screening for the following populations:
- Men who have had sex with men after 1975;
- Men and women having unprotected sex with multiple partners;
- Past or present injection drug users;