A federal advisory panel said that Congress should move immediately to cut payments to hospitals for many services that can be provided at much lower cost in doctors’ offices. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission said the current payment disparities had created incentives for hospitals to buy physician practices, driving up costs for the Medicare program and for beneficiaries. Hospital buyouts of doctors, turning independent practitioners into hospital employees, have also led to higher spending by private insurers and higher co-payments for their policyholders, the commission said. Congress often adopts ideas suggested by the commission, and hospital executives fear that could happen again as lawmakers search for ways to squeeze savings out of Medicare.
Source/more: New York Times