Medicare Physician Payments: Spending Targets Encourage Fiscal Discipline, Modifications Could Stabilize Fees

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Congress implemented a physician fee schedule and a fee update formula to moderate spending growth relative to specified Medicare spending targets. These spending targets increase annually to reflect higher costs for physician services, the growth in the overall economy, and changes in the number of Medicare beneficiaries. Physician fees are adjusted for changes in the costs of providing services and on actual cumulative spending compared to the cumulative targets. Physician fees are updated to reflect higher costs to provide services. These updates are adjusted up or down on ... continued below

Creation Information

United States. General Accounting Office. February 14, 2002.

Context

This text is part of the collection entitled: Government Accountability Office Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this text can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this text or its content.

Publisher

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this text. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Congress implemented a physician fee schedule and a fee update formula to moderate spending growth relative to specified Medicare spending targets. These spending targets increase annually to reflect higher costs for physician services, the growth in the overall economy, and changes in the number of Medicare beneficiaries. Physician fees are adjusted for changes in the costs of providing services and on actual cumulative spending compared to the cumulative targets. Physician fees are updated to reflect higher costs to provide services. These updates are adjusted up or down on actual spending either falling below or exceeding the targets. In November 2001, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced that updating Medicare's fees will decline 5.4 percent from what was paid in 2001, despite an estimated 2.6 percent increase in the cost of physician inputs. This reduction accounts for historical cumulative spending that exceeded the target by $8.9 billion, or 13 percent of estimated 2002 spending. Several factors contributed to the disparity between actual and targeted spending, including the correction of substantial errors in past spending estimates and the revision of targets for prior years. The current update mechanism could be modified to moderate fluctuations in physician fees and to ensure adequate payments, while retaining the fiscal discipline created by having a spending target. Such modifications would need to balance concerns about preserving fiscal discipline on physician spending with the need to maintain adequate payment rates to ensure that beneficiaries have access to physician services. Because the paramount consideration in setting payment rates is ensuring appropriate beneficiary access to services, timely and detailed data on Medicare beneficiary service use are essential to achieving this balance."

Subjects

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this text in the Digital Library or other systems.

Collections

This text is part of the following collection of related materials.

Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

What responsibilities do I have when using this text?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this text.

Creation Date

  • February 14, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this text last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 0
Total Uses: 3

Where

Geographical information about where this text originated or about its content.

Place Name

Publication Place

Map Information

  • map marker Automatically generated Place Name coordinates.
  • map marker Automatically generated Publication Place coordinates.
  • Repositioning map may be required for optimal printing.

Mapped Locations

Interact With This Text

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

United States. General Accounting Office. Medicare Physician Payments: Spending Targets Encourage Fiscal Discipline, Modifications Could Stabilize Fees, text, February 14, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289755/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.