McCollum says deal reached on Medicare concernsby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
Washington — Democratic Congresswoman Betty McCollum said she has reached a resolution with House negotiators over her concerns about Medicare reimbursement inequities.
McCollum said she convinced her colleagues to add language to national health care legislation that would eventually fix Medicare payment disparities that penalize Minnesota.
"This agreement calls for a study of geographic variations and then an independent party will put in new rates," McCollum said. "But also importantly, it has a second study which moves us toward value care which is care based on best evidence, not highest volume."
The proposal would spend $8 billion to make the Medicare payment adjustments in 2012 and 2013. During those years no state would see its Medicare rates reduced. But McCollum said that by 2014, some high-cost health care states will likely see their payments drop.
"What we focused on and what everyone can agree on is that we want every American citizen to have the best evidence-based medical outcomes available to them," she said. "No one can disagree with that.
"So we're going to fix the rate inequities and we're going to move to make sure we put people first and their health care first."
She said it's too early to predict how much more money Minnesota could expect to get from the rate adjustments.