How Medicare for All could impact providers — 4 insights

The Medicare for All Act has the potential to affect anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists, according to Anesthesia Business Consultants President and CEO Tony Mira.

Four takeaways:

1. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and 106 House Democrats introduced HR 1384 in late February. It proposes extending Medicare coverage to all Americans, allowing coverage for certain services, doing away with copays and deductibles and changing the way physicians are reimbursed.

2. The bill calls for giving hospitals a lump sum payment each year to cover their annual expenses, including wages and salaries. Each institution would negotiate their budgets with a regional office established by HHS. The budget would be based on volume of services, actual expenditures, wages, provider capacity and more.

3. The bill would establish a fee schedule to compensate clinicians and groups based on expertise and value. ABC estimates the change could reduce physician income by up to 30 percent. However, groups could opt to be paid under their institution's global budget rather than the Medicare for All fee schedule.

4. The Medicare for All Act, which would be implemented over two years, was tabled in late March after House Democrats introduced a separate bill to strengthen the ACA. However, Medicare for All is likely to be a central topic in the 2020 presidential election.

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