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    Obama Signs Medicare Package to End Automatic Payment Cuts to Doctors

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    Barack Obama claims that the Medicare Access Act of 2015 will fix and improve the way doctors in the United States are paid.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Medicare Access Act of 2015 will fix and improve the way doctors in the United States are paid, US President Barack Obama said in the Act’s signing ceremony.

    “Not only does this legislation permanently fix payments to doctors but it also improves it,” Obama said on Thursday. “What it starts doing is encouraging payments based on quality and not the number of tests that are provided or the number of procedures that are applied.”

    Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner
    © AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta, File
    The new legislation replaces the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate of 1997, which linked Medicare doctor pay to the growth in GDP.

    Under the previous regulation, the physician fee schedule was updated on March 1 of each year in accordance with the level of expenditures.

    The bill passed the US Congress on April 14, 2015. Obama called the new law a “significant bipartisan achievement.”

    Medicare is the US federal health insurance program for people who are primarily 65 or older. It covers almost 50 million US citizens, according to the Henry Kaiser Family Foundation.

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