Prospects are growing dim that Congress will permanently fix Medicare's outdated payment formula this year because lawmakers have been unable to agree on a way to pay for it. Meanwhile, federal officials have drafted rules to protect seniors when Medicare Advantage plans cut doctors from their networks.
The Associated Press: Congress Confronts Medicare Cuts To Doctors' Fees
Hope is fading for a Capitol Hill drive to permanently fix Medicare's outdated payment formula and spare doctors from automatic cuts in their fees next month. Now the question is whether lawmakers can regroup and come up with a short-term solution when the current patch expires (Taylor, 3/21).
Kaiser Health News: Draft Rules Would Help Protect Seniors When Medicare Advantage Plans Drop Doctors
Federal officials are considering new Medicare Advantage rules to help protect seniors when insurers make significant reductions to their networks of doctors and other health care providers. The proposals follow UnitedHealthcare's decision to drop thousands of doctors from its Medicare Advantage plans in at least 10 states last fall (Jaffe, 3/24).