Hospitals, tax-scofflaw docs targeted in tentative House deal changing Medicare doctors' fees

Lifestyle and Budget Associated Press

An emerging bipartisan House deal changing how Medicare pays physicians would raise money in part by targeting Medicare providers who are tax scofflaws and by curbing reimbursements for hospitals and nursing homes.

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It would also help Tennessee hospitals serving large numbers of poor patients and help makers of medical equipment bidding for business under Medicare.

Those were among new details in an outline of the tentative agreement released Friday.

Key parts of the pact were already known.

It would prevent a 21 percent cut in doctors' Medicare reimbursements due April 1 and replace a 1997 law setting those payments with a new formula. It would provide money for children's health and community health centers.

No cost figures were released. Aides said its total price tag would be roughly $210 billion.