The Washington Post and Modern Healthcare reported today that a massive tax bill coming out of committee yesterday includes provisions that would reverse the 5% Medicare 2007 rate cut for physicians, and establish a 1.5% incentive increase for those who report on quality measures. (Hospitals are currently docked part of their Medicare reimbursements unless they report quality measures; virtually all do so. See CMS page on RHQDAPU.)
Such a stunt was not unexpected. See earlier post here. Here’s hoping for a rational long-term fix to this issue.
Conferees reportedly reached an agreement this afternoon, with a vote in the House expected today, and a vote in the Senate tonight or tomorrow.
UPDATE 12/12/06: Here’s a link to the section of the bill passed by Congress that changes the 2007 Medicare fee schedule for physician services. The President is expected to sign the bill.
Update 2/16/07: Today, CMS posted here details on the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), which can net physicians up to a 1.5% bonus on Medicare FFS volume.