Doctors testified on Capitol Hill Wednesday on the state of Medicare’s Physician Payment System. Senate Finance Committee members were particularly interested in how to improve the system.
Witnesses included: Ardis Dee Hoven, immediate past chairwoman, Board of Trustees, American Medical Association; Glenn Stream, president, American Academy of Family Physicians; Frank Opelka, vice chancellor of clinical affairs, and professor of surgery, Louisiana State University Health Science Center; W. Douglas Weaver, vice president and system medical director, Heart and Vascular Services, Henry Ford Health System; and Barbara McAneny, CEO, New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants.
This was the committee’s third hearing focusing on this Medicare program. The first focused on where the program stands now and included testimony from four former heads of Medicare. The second discussed the fee-for-service system that Medicare uses to pay physicians and heard from witnesses with five organizations that have developed innovative physician payment systems in the private insurance market.
The hearing was chaired by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).