The Congress should direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to reduce payment rates for evaluation and management office visits provided in hospital outpatient departments so that total payment rates for these visits are the same whether the service is provided in an outpatient department or a physician office. These changes should be phased in over three years. During the phase-in, payment reductions to hospitals with a disproportionate share patient percentage at or above the median should be limited to 2 percent of overall Medicare payments.
Hospital inpatient and outpatient services (2)
March 15, 2012