Jun 14, 2010

AMA Votes for New Medicare Payment Option

Photo by Ted Grudzinski / AMA

CHICAGO -- Had enough of choosing between participating, non-par, or opt-out status for Medicare? Find that none of them are right for you and your patients? The American Medical Association House of Delegates wants to give you a different choice.

In an emtional and often confusing debate, the house Monday voted to ask Congress to institute a new Medicare payment option for physicians and patients. The new status choice would allow physicians to privately contract with Medicare patients for health care services, at a mutually agreed-upon price, with no penalty to either party.

After a long debate, delegates voted better than 2-to-1 for the new option.

Here's the exact language of what the house passed:

RESOLVED: That our American Medical Association immediately formulate legislation for an additional payment option in Medicare fee for service that allows patients and physicians to freely contract, without penalty to either party, for a fee that differs from the Medicare payment schedule in a manner that does not forfeit benefits otherwise available to the patient. This legislative language shall be available to our AMA members no later than September 30, 2010.

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