Sep 10, 2013

Texas' Two Largest Papers Back Medicare Payment Reform

First The Dallas Morning News then the Houston Chronicle published editorials supporting major changes in how Medicare pays physicians. The Morning News piece, “Rep. Burgess’ plan to better pay Medicare physicians,” lauds Congressman Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville), for his leadership in trying to solve the decade-long disaster caused by the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. The Chronicle printed “Medicare needs repair” just two days after the Texas Medical Association and the Harris County Medical Society (HCMS) arranged a meeting among U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands), TMA and HCMS leaders, and the Chronicle editorial board.

Of note, the Morning News pointed out “Several medical groups say they see this proposal as a work in progress. Undoubtedly, there are ways to tweak it.” True. The bill is not perfect. We are concerned that payment increases won’t keep up with the cost of running a practice. We are concerned with the potential for a new set of bureaucratic hassles to spring up. But we are pleased with the bill’s growing support.

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