Medicare group recommends higher payments for primary care

May 8, 2009

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has recommended a 1.1 percent increase in fee-for-service payments to physicians in 2010.

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an agency chartered by Congress to advise legislators on Medicare issues, has recommended a 1.1 percent increase in fee-for-service payments to physicians in 2010.

In its 424-page report to Congress, MedPAC also repeated an earlier recommendation to create an additional payment to primary care physicians, as well as nurses and physician assistants with practices focused on primary care.

MedPAC does not specify the bonus amount, but points out that Medicare currently offers a 10 percent bonus to practitioners in federally designated health-professional shortage areas and a 5 percent bonus in physician-shortage areas.