Update on Doctor Pay Fix

  • CBO says a fix will cost $153 billion over the next ten years.
  • Rs and Ds have agreed on a fix, but they haven’t found a way to pay for it.
  • But if they don’t do something doctors are about to get a double digit pay cut under Medicare.
  • Under the deal, 9% of doctor fees will be based on conformance to quality indicators by 2021. But since we know that P4P doesn’t work, it’s not clear why they are going through the motions.

The plan. Sarah Kliff commentary.

Comments (15)

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  1. Peter K. says:

    Recent legislation disincentives people to pursue a career in medicine. This is excellent news for a country that faces a shortage of doctors. Then people question why healthcare is so expensive. Few doctors, high demand, what should we expect?

    • Butt says:

      Obtaining a degree in medicine needs a long-time rigorous training and the selection is really competitive. Therefore, the expected salary should be high accordingly, otherwise no one would like to be a doctor.

    • Walter Q. says:

      You can most definitely expect worse off healthcare. Hopefully a doctor pay fix can improve the incentives into going to medical school.

  2. Perry says:

    Not only do they want to pay less, expend more time on worthless documentation and insane coding procedures. The corporatization of medicine is on it’s way. Goodbye Marcus Welby, RIP.

  3. Logan R. says:

    Doctors are earning top dollar on their practice. They have taken advantage of the common people by charging unreasonable amount of money. Make them pay. They shouldn’t earn top dollar for a service they are providing. Healthcare shouldn’t be a business; it is a profession that is supposed to help those who need it.

    • Thomas says:

      Yet a cost has to be incurred somewhere. As much as you may not like it, healthcare is a business that just so happens to help people. If there is no incentive to get into the medical field or too many barriers to entry, you will see the quality of healthcare to diminish greatly.

  4. Manuel C. says:

    Simple, doctors who don’t like their pay under Medicaid should stop accepting it. If they are concerned that they are going to receive less money, don’t worry about offering your service to those who can only afford Medicaid. Become a private doctor to see if you are better off.

    • Mike B. says:

      Doctors who provide services to patients on Medicaid are doing more than providing charity care: they don’t receive even enough to pay for their overhead (staff, office, equipment, etc.), let alone themselves. They lose money on every single patient.
      So they would be “better off” financially if they did stop providing this service.
      But if we take Manuel C’s advice, who will see these patients? Will they be better off?
      Much of the non-urban country does not have government-subsidized health clinics for the indigent, nor are they likely to.

      • Matthew says:

        Continuing to narrow the networks isn’t going to do anything for those on Medicaid. Eventually it will become near impossible to find healthcare that will meet their needs.

  5. John Fembup says:

    “Rs and Ds have agreed on a fix, but they haven’t found a way to pay for it.”

    You know, it’s AMAZING how many of my own problems come out this exact same way.

    I solve them in no time at all.

    I just can’t figure out how to pay for my solutions.

    Unfortunately, I cannot print money.

  6. Jay says:

    “Republicans and Democrats are agreeing on a multibillion-dollar health policy proposal.”

    They are agreeing? I would have figured this would only be a headline from the Onion.

  7. James M. says:

    “What Congress wants to do differently this time around is, by 2021, put as much as nine percent of doctors’ reimbursements at stake if providers can’t hit certain quality standards.”

    So now they plan on reimbursing doctors on quality rather than quantity. It does not sound like a bad plan to me.

  8. Linda Gorman says:


    Before you worry about whether the supposed quality measures are “attainable,” you might worry about whether current pay for performance measures adequately measure quality.