Hospitals are fighting a Medicare payment fix that would save tax dollars

February 13, 2024 11:54 am

In the battle to control health care costs, hospitals are deploying their political power to protect their bottom lines.

The point of contention: For decades, Medicare has paid hospitals — including hospital-owned physician practices that may not be physically located in a hospital building — about double the rates it pays other doctors and facilities for the same services, such as mammograms, colonoscopies and blood tests.

The rationale has been that hospitals have higher fixed costs, such as 24/7 emergency rooms and uncompensated care for uninsured people.