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Advising the Congress on Medicare issues
MedPAC > Recommendations

Commission Recommendations

MedPAC makes recommendations to the Congress and to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues affecting the administration of the Medicare program. With its recommendations, the Commission strives to improve the delivery of care, while ensuring financial stability and maximizing value for the program. After extensive analysis and evaluation, our recommendations are discussed and voted on by Commissioners in our public meetings. Recommendations are typically published in two main reports, released in March and June of each year.

Recommendations Topic(s) Date

Improving payment accuracy and appropriate use of ancillary services (4)

The Congress should direct the Secretary to establish a prior authorization program for practitioners who order substantially more advanced diagnostic imaging services than their peers.

  • Physicians and other health professionals

June 2011

Physician and other health professional services

The Congress should update payments for physician fee schedule services in 2012 by 1 percent.

  • Physicians and other health professionals

March 2011

Graduate medical education financing: Focusing on educational priorities (1)

The Congress should authorize the Secretary to change Medicare’s funding of graduate medical education (GME) to support the workforce skills needed in a delivery system that reduces cost growth while maintaining or improving quality. The Secretary should establish the standards for distributing funds after consultation with representatives that include accrediting organizations, training programs, health care… Read more »

  • Hospital
  • Physicians and other health professionals

June 2010

Graduate medical education financing: Focusing on educational priorities (3)

The Secretary should conduct workforce analysis to determine the number of residency positions needed in the United States in total and by specialty. In addition, analysis should examine and consider the optimal level and mix of other health professionals. This work should be based on the workforce requirements of health care delivery systems that provide… Read more »

  • Hospital
  • Physicians and other health professionals

June 2010

Graduate medical education financing: Focusing on educational priorities (4)

The Secretary should report to the Congress on how residency programs affect the financial performance of sponsoring institutions and whether residency programs in all specialties should be supported equally.

  • Hospital
  • Physicians and other health professionals

June 2010

Graduate medical education financing: Focusing on educational priorities (5)

The Secretary should study strategies for increasing the diversity of our health professional workforce (e.g., increasing the shares from underrepresented rural, lower income, and minority communities) and report on what strategies are most effective to achieve this pipeline goal.

  • Delivery system reforms
  • Physicians and other health professionals

June 2010

Physician services

The Congress should update payments for physician services in 2011 by 1.0 percent.

  • Physicians and other health professionals

March 2010

Physician services and ambulatory surgical centers (1)

The Congress should update payments for physician services in 2010 by 1.1 percent.

  • Physicians and other health professionals

February 2009

Physician services and ambulatory surgical centers (2)

The Congress should establish a budget-neutral payment adjustment for primary care services billed under the physician fee schedule and furnished by primary-care-focused practitioners. Primary-care-focused practitioners are those whose specialty designation is defined as primary care and/or those whose pattern of claims meets a minimum threshold of furnishing primary care services. The Secretary would use rulemaking… Read more »

  • Physicians and other health professionals

February 2009

Physician services and ambulatory surgical centers (3)

The Congress should direct the Secretary to increase the equipment use standard for expensive imaging machines from 25 hours to 45 hours per week. This change should redistribute relative value units from expensive imaging to other physician services.

  • Physicians and other health professionals

February 2009