IOM Panel Raises Concerns About Lowering Medicare Pay For High Spending Areas

An Institute of Medicine panel on Friday panned an idea that has been raised in Congress to pay Medicare providers in some areas of the country less if their regions are heavy users of medical services.

The idea is an outgrowth of decades of research into why Medicare spends more per beneficiary in some places such as New York City, Florida and McAllen, Texas, and significantly less in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Much of those spending totals—20 to 30 percent by some estimates—cannot be explained by the age or health of residents, leading some analysts to surmise the extra spending is due to unnecessary services and waste.

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Source: Kaiser Health News