Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DocFix Cliff

Last time we looked, Kelley noted that - once again - the government had chosen to kick the "doc fix" down the road. The "doc fix" is the temporary patch necessary to keep physicians' Medicare (and by extension, every other 3rd party) reimbursements from crashing to the ground.

As Peter Suderman points out, the "doc fix" is inherently unfixable because, well:

"The way the doc fix developed is somewhat convoluted ... The formula tied total spending on physician payments to inflation, in hopes of keeping physician spending from growing faster than the economy as a whole ... If the doc fix is allowed to occur this year, physicians face a 26.5 percent cut in Medicare fees."

The end result is that, by not realistically addressing the problem, it gets larger and larger, so that (for example), the "doc fix" today represents $25 billion. While that may seem small potatoes in comparison to the overall debt, it's still a pretty good chunk of change that may or may not go into doctors' pockets.

Your doctor's pocket.

[Hat Tip: HotAir]
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