Will a 10 percent bonus for primary care be enough?

That’s what the ACP is proposing in a letter sent to Senator Tom Daschle, the future Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Will that be enough to stop the generalist hemorrhage? Physician Jay Larson is skeptical, saying it “sounds like a squirt gun trying to put out an inferno.” I’m dubious myself. Ask for 10 percent, you get five, which is pretty much the status quo.

I maintain that the most straightforward solution would be for Medicare to simply increase the payment for the E&M codes 99211-99215 (99201-99205 for new patients) by 20 percent.

It’s an elegant solution that will be very effective in keeping many primary care doctors in practice.


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