Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)
- Homepage: http://www.medpac.gov/
June 2006: "The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is an independent federal body established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-33) to advise the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. The Commission's statutory mandate is quite broad: In addition to advising the Congress on payments to private health plans participating in Medicare and providers in Medicare's traditional fee-for-service program, MedPAC is also tasked with analyzing access to care, quality of care, and other issues affecting Medicare.
The Commission's 17 members bring diverse expertise in the financing and delivery of health care services. Commissioners are appointed to three-year terms (subject to renewal) by the Comptroller General and serve part time. Appointments are staggered; the terms of five or six Commissioners expire each year. For more information on the commissioner appointment process, please click here. The Commission is supported by an executive director and a staff of analysts, who typically have backgrounds in economics, health policy, public health, or medicine.
MedPAC meets publicly to discuss policy issues and formulate its recommendations to the Congress. In the course of these meetings, Commissioners consider the results of staff research, presentations by policy experts, and comments from interested parties. (Meeting transcripts are available on this website.) Commission members and staff also seek input on Medicare issues through frequent meetings with individuals interested in the program, including staff from congressional committees and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), health care researchers, health care providers, and beneficiary advocates.
Two reports -- issued in March and June each year -- are the primary outlet for Commission recommendations. In 2004, the Commission's March report addressed a variety of payment policy issues. The June 2004 report was devoted to the subject of new approaches in Medicare. In addition to these reports and others on subjects requested by the Congress, MedPAC advises the Congress through other avenues, including comments on reports and proposed regulations issued by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, testimony, and briefings for congressional staff."http://www.medpac.gov/about_medpac/index.cfm?section=about_medpac
June 2009: 'Drawing upon the ideas of the Harvard economist David Cutler, the Obama administration talks of empowering an independent board of experts to judge the comparative effectiveness of health care expenditures; the goal is to limit or withdraw Medicare support for ineffective ones....There is already a Medicare Advisory Payment Commission, but it isn’t allowed to actually cut costs.'http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/business/economy/14view.html
June 2006: Hospitals across the country lost money on Medicare patients in 2003 after at least six years of declining profit margins, according to the latest report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress and federal officials.http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/01/business/01health.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Owned by (partial or full, past or present) US Federal Government - Independent Agencies Organization Jun 3, 2006 Advisor/Consultant to (past or present) US House of Representatives Organization Jun 3, 2006 Advisor/Consultant to (past or present) US Senate Organization Jun 3, 2006
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Sep 02, 2009 The Fix Is In: The hidden public-private cartel that sets health care prices.
QUOTE: Fundamentally, the entire payment model of American health care drives medical centers, doctors, and hospital managers to push for more fancy procedures at the expense of primary care doctors.
Slate Aug 24, 2009 Dialysis treatment in USA: High costs, high death rates
QUOTE: Although the USA spends more per dialysis patient than other countries, that does not result in higher survival rates or even, many argue, a better quality of life.
USA TODAY Jul 31, 2009 Doctors Reap Benefits By Doing Own Tests
QUOTE: A host of studies and reports by academics and the federal government shows that physicians who own scanners order many more scans than those who do not. As a result, Americans pay billions of dollars in extra taxes and insurance premiums.
Washington Post Jun 23, 2009 Bringing Down the House: The sobering lessons of health reform in Massachusetts. (Prescriptions)
QUOTE: Despite having health insurance, roughly one in 10 [Massachusetts] state residents still failed to fill prescriptions, ended up with unpaid medical bills, or skipped needed medical care for financial reasons. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to insure more Massachusetts citizens, but many people still weren't getting necessary care.
Slate Jun 13, 2009 Economic View: Something’s Got to Give in Medicare Spending
QUOTE: the Obama administration talks of empowering an independent board of experts to judge the comparative effectiveness of health care expenditures; the goal is to limit or withdraw Medicare support for ineffective ones. This idea is long overdue, and the critics who contend that it amounts to “rationing” or “the government telling you which medical treatments you can have” are missing the point.
New York Times Jun 11, 2007 Incentives Limit Any Savings in Treating Cancer
QUOTE: Some physicians say that cancer doctors responded to Medicare’s change by performing additional treatments that got them the best reimbursements, whether or not the treatments benefited patients. Those doctors also say that Medicare’s reimbursement policies are responsible.
New York Times May 07, 2007 Hard Sell Cited as Insurers Push Plans to Elderly
QUOTE: Proponents of private plans say they are indisputably good for many older Americans because they coordinate care and may offer extra benefits, like discounts on eyeglasses, hearing aids and dental care. But federal officials said that the fastest-growing type of Medicare Advantage plan generally does not coordinate care, does not save money for Medicare and has been at the center of marketing abuses.
New York Times Jun 01, 2006 Low Payments by U.S. Raise Medical Bills Billions a Year
QUOTE: Employers and consumers are paying billions of dollars more a year for medical care to compensate for imbalances in the nation's health care system resulting from tight Medicare and Medicaid budgets...
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