Physician panel prescribes the fees paid by Medicare
Three times a year, 29 doctors gather around a table in a hotel meeting room. Their job is an unusual one: divvying up billions of Medicare dollars.
The group, convened by the American Medical Association, has no official government standing. Members are mostly selected by medical-specialty trade groups. Anyone who attends its meetings must sign a confidentiality agreement.
Yet the influence of the secretive panel, known as the Relative Value Scale Update Committee, is enormous. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversee Medicare, typically follow at least 90% of its recommendations in figuring out how much to pay doctors for their work. Medicare spends over $60 billion a year on doctors and other practitioners. Many private insurers and Medicaid programs also use the federal system in creating their own fee schedules.
- Patient Harm Data to Remain on Medicare's Hospital Compare Site
- Quiet ORs Better for Patient Safety
- Leapfrog Hospital Safety Scores 'Depressing'
- Tavenner Confirmed as CMS Administrator
- Building a Better Healthcare Board
- CMS Seeks to 'Rapidly Reduce' Medicare Spending with $1B in Grants
- Rural Healthcare Can Entice the Best and Brightest
- Hard-Nosed About Physician Teamwork
- How Medical Debt Forgiveness Benefits Hospitals
- Healthcare Leaders Sound Off on Organized Labor