Ways and Means Holds Hearing on Challenges Facing Independent Medicine | Heart Rhythm Society

Ways and Means Holds Hearing on Challenges Facing Independent Medicine

The U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on May 23rd titled “The Collapse of Private Practice: Examining the Challenges Facing Independent Medicine.”

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During the hearing, the panel considered the impact of health care system consolidation on private practices. There was widespread agreement on the need to reform the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule in the long-run, with both members and witnesses highlighting the rising costs and declining reimbursements faced by physicians.

“How can doctors afford to stay in private practice when their costs are skyrocketing, and their reimbursement rates continue to get cut? Many times, physicians are forced to sell their practice or consolidate with a larger system to stay afloat,” Chairman Vern Buchanan acknowledged in his opening statement. “Whether or not to sell a practice should be a choice by the physician based on what works best for them, their practice, and their patients. They should not be forced into practice consolidation,” Buchanan argued.

Members also discussed how the burden associated with quality reporting programs and prior authorization leaves less time for physicians – particularly those in private practice with little or no administrative help – to provide care for patients.  

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