Senate Finance Releases Bipartisan Physician Payment Reform, Workforce Proposals | Heart Rhythm Society

Senate Finance Releases Bipartisan Physician Payment Reform, Workforce Proposals

Senate Committee on Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) released a white paper in May outlining policy options to reform the Medicare physician payment system, with a focus on improving care for patients with chronic illness.

Legislative Updates

Potential reforms considered by the white paper include the creation of sustainable payment updates to ensure clinicians can own and operate their own practices; incentivizing alternative payment models; rethinking how Medicare measures quality care; improving primary care; supporting chronic care benefits in Medicare fee-for-service; and ensuring continued access to telehealth. The lawmakers specify that the committee will continue to conduct outreach to stakeholders and experts in an effort that will "ideally culminate in bipartisan legislation."

Members of the Finance Committee’s Medicare graduate medical education (GME) Working Group more recently released a policy outline aimed at improving the Medicare GME system in an effort to address nationwide physician workforce shortages and improve the distribution of physicians in rural and underserved communities. Chair Wyden was joined by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) in releasing the draft proposal.

The document outlines options for expanding and improving the distribution of Medicare-supported GME residency training positions, helping rural hospitals with the infrastructure needed to support residency training programs, and improving federal data collection around the use of federal GME dollars. The Committee is accepting feedback on the GME through June 24th.

Membership Reminder