AMA supports overhaul of Medicare doctors' pay

The American Medical Association says it strongly supports legislation that would change the way Medicare pays doctors, to emphasize quality care and not just sheer volume of services.

The endorsement Monday from AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven provided a boost for a bipartisan bill moving through Congress.

The bill would repeal the centerpiece of the current payment system. That approach relies on automatic cuts to to limit Medicare spending and has proven unworkable.

Instead, doctors would get five years of small increases while Medicare shifts its financial incentives to reward quality, cost-effective care. Doctors and other professionals would be encouraged to work in teams to keep patients as healthy as possible.

The strategy for passing it remains unclear; it's expected to cost about $130 billion over 10 years.

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