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April 1, 2008
IDSA Advocacy Update: IDSA Opposes Bundling Hospital and Physician Payments

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has recommended that for some episodes of care, reimbursement for hospitals, physicians, and other providers should be bundled together into a single payment made to hospitals. 

In a letter to MedPAC, IDSA expressed its concerns that a bundled payment model in which hospitals control the purse strings would provide an unfair advantage to hospitalists working on the hospital’s payroll at the expense of private practitioners, including infectious diseases specialists. IDSA said the policy could split infectious diseases practice into hospitalists providing inpatient care and private practitioners providing outpatient care, disrupting continuity rather than improving patient care.

MedPAC’s recommendations will be included in its June report to Congress.

Other recent advocacy efforts include:

  • IDSA submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education opposing disastrous cuts in the president’s fiscal year 2009 budget.

  • IDSA joined other physician groups in supporting the Save Medicare Act of 2008.  A coalition of physician specialty and state medical societies urged senators to co-sponsor legislation that would reverse planned cuts in physician payments which threaten access to care for Medicare beneficiaries.

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