In meetings held in both October and November 2012, members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) again suggested that MedPAC aims to equalize the reimbursement rates for certain services provided in outpatient hospital departments with those currently paid for similar services provided in stand-alone doctors’ offices. Last March, MedPAC recommended to Congress that payments for evaluation and management (E&M) services paid to outpatient departments be lowered so they are equal to payments made for similar services provided in doctors’ offices. The recommended cuts could result in an estimated $1 billion payment reduction for hospitals. While Congress has yet to act on MedPAC’s recommendations, this idea has gained traction as lawmakers seek ways to implement Medicare savings.
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