[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 28, 1989

The Physician Payment Review Commission Report to Congress

JAMA. 1989;261(16):2382-2385. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420160114033

THE PHYSICIAN Payment Review Commission has developed proposals to rationalize the pattern of payments to physicians by Medicare and to slow the rate of increase in program costs so that they are affordable to beneficiaries and taxpayers. It outlines these proposals in its 1989 report, submitted to Congress today.

The Commission was created in 1986 to advise Congress on reform of the methods used by Medicare to pay physicians. The Congress expanded its charge in 1988 to include consideration of policies designed to slow the rates of increase in expenditures and utilization of physicians' services. Medicare is the nation's largest payer of medical bills in an industry that now accounts for more than 11% of the gross national product. Its expenditures have grown rapidly over the years, with spending for physicians' services being the fastest growing portion, rising an average of 15% a year. Taxpayers and beneficiaries pay for these