House lawmakers move closer to proposing a plan to overhaul how Medicare pays doctors and wonder how they can increase doctors' Medicaid pay -- typically the purview of states.
CQ HealthBeat: House Committee Leaders Suggest They're In Sync On SGR Overhaul
Influential lawmakers on two House committees that are pivotal to overhauling the Medicare physician payment system said Wednesday they are working together closely on legislation to replace the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, despite some raised eyebrows in recent days about whether they were on the same page (Reichard, 6/12).
Medpage Today: House Members Talk Higher Medicaid Pay
Republicans and Democrats agree on little about Medicaid reform but are in concert that provider reimbursements need to be higher, judging from a hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday. The problem is that states control provider payment rates and not much can be done from Washington. However, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, suggested Wednesday that Congress do one thing that can be done from Washington: extend the temporary payment increase Medicaid primary care providers are seeing, bringing their reimbursements on par with those of Medicare. The change impacts general pediatricians, general internists, and family physicians (Pittman, 6/12).
The Indian Health Service also drew lawmakers' attention -
CQ HealthBeat: Democrats Complain To Indian Health Service Nominee About Administration's Progress
Democratic senators weighing the re-confirmation of Yvette Roubideaux to be director of the Indian Health Service slammed the Obama administration on Wednesday for making slow progress in significantly improving medical care for American Indians and for failing to pay tribes what the Supreme Court says they are owed (Adams, 6/13).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.