Budget Deal Could Overhaul Medicare Long-term Acute-care Pay

The bipartisan budget deal reached this week could drag out efforts to overhaul Medicare's payment formula for physicians as lawmakers pursue a short-term fix and attempt to extend and make other tweaks to Medicare provisions, including significant changes to reimbursement for long-term acute care.

The bipartisan budget deal reached this week could drag out efforts to overhaul Medicare's payment formula for physicians as lawmakers pursue a short-term fix and attempt to extend and make other tweaks to Medicare provisions, including significant changes to reimbursement for long-term acute care.

Two influential congressional committees will consider legislation Thursday to repeal Medicare's contentious sustainable growth-rate formula for physicians.

Members of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee will examine legislation that would not only repeal Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula but also replace it with a payment system that rewards quality and performance over volume.

At the same time, lawmakers are expected to attach amendments (PDF) to the bicameral, two-year budget agreement that Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled Tuesday night that would extend Medicare's current payment update to physicians through March 31, 2014. The amendments also extend certain Medicare programs.

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Source: Modern Healthcare