Medicare is expected to pay more than $86 billion next year for care given in hospital outpatient clinics and surgery centers, and certain niches of the industry are hoping to shovel more of that money toward their devices and services.
Medical device executives, lobbyists, and physicians made pitches to Medicare officials and independent experts last week during a meeting held by what’s known as Medicare’s Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment. They were hoping to persuade the federal agency to dole out higher payments for several types of devices and services, ranging from drugs that get inserted into the eye to hernia repairs.
The annual meeting gives companies the chance to explain changes in medical devices or argue that Medicare’s payments aren’t keeping up with costs. But it also puts a critical onus on federal officials and experts to wade through financial interests — which are not always disclosed — and ensure taxpayer dollars aren’t being misplaced on medical technologies that are unnecessary or don’t have enough data.
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