Medicare payment cuts planned for next year will be reversed if two
bills introduced in Congress in May get signed into law.
Under the current Medicare reimbursement formula, which is tied to the
US gross domestic product, payments to physicians would be reduced by 4.3%
beginning next year. Over the next 6 years, physician payment would fall 26%.
But the two bills (each called the Preserving Patient Access to Physicians
Act of 2005) would be tied to the Medicare Economic Index and increase payment
by about 2.6% for 2006. Fees would then rise annually based on national increases
in practice costs. The change will cost an estimated $25 billion to $35 billion
over the next 5 years.
Mitka M. Boosting Medicare Pay. JAMA. 2005;294(2):171. doi:10.1001/jama.294.2.171-a