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Differences in doctors’ compensation in the spotlight

The Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2011
As the WSJ reports, the American Academy of Family Physicians wants Medicare to change the makeup of a committee that helps set physician-payment levels, including adding more primary-care representatives to the group. And it plans to propose different ways for calculating Medicare reimbursement for primary-care services, which it argues are too low compared to payments for specialist services. Meantime, a study just published in Health Affairs confirms the primary-care/specialist discrepancy, but notes U.S. physicians in general are paid more per service compared to their counterparts in Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The differential was particularly stark for hip replacements, especially on the private-payer side of things.

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