In a sweeping bid to revitalize the attractiveness of the medical profession, the healthcare system is set for a major overhaul of its billing practices. The move, primarily aimed at making the role of panel physicians more appealing, is being seen as a much-needed response to the current unpopularity of the panel doctor profession due to archaic billing procedures.
Physician Pay Cuts and ASC Coverage
In a November announcement, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed plans to decrease physician pay by 1.25% in 2024 and adjust the conversion factor to 32.74, marking a 3.4% drop from the previous year. Both physicians and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) leaders are making it a priority to rectify the payment system in 2024, championing meaningful reform to maintain patient access and the long-term sustainability of physician practice. In the face of these challenges, some surgeons are contemplating severing ties with Medicare, raising concerns about the equity of ASC payments under Medicare. In addition to these changes, CMS has added 11 new procedures to its ASC coverage list for 2024, including multiple orthopedic procedures.
Healthcare Borrowing Defaults Predicted
Moody's Investors Service forecasts an upsurge in healthcare borrowing defaults in 2024 due to various factors such as excessive leverage, high interest rates, and the expiration of interest rate hedges. This development sheds light on the financial burdens plaguing healthcare companies and the potential defaults looming in 2024.
Healthcare Reform in Quebec and Colombia
The Quebec government has signalled its readiness to extend its examination of its healthcare reform by three extra days, with the objective of passing Bill 15. However, the timeline for completing the tasks related to the bill is a point of contention, with opposition parties suggesting a suspension and a recommencement of the work in January. On a similar note, Colombia's Lower House has given its approval to the government's healthcare reform. This change seeks to curtail the role of the private sector, marking a victory for President Gustavo Petro. The bill is now headed to the Senate for further debates. These developments highlight the ongoing discussions and hurdles related to healthcare reform in Quebec and Colombia.