Medicare Patient Empowerment Act
On February 7, 2013, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) reintroduced S. 236, the "Medicare Patient Empowerment Act." This legislation would establish a Medicare payment option for patients and physicians (and practitioners) to freely contract, without penalty, for Medicare fee-for-service physician and practitioner services, while allowing patients to use their Medicare benefits and physicians to bill the patient for all amounts not covered by Medicare. Physicians and practitioners could continue to elect Medicare participating (PAR) or non-participating (non-PAR) status for other patients they treat. The three physicians serving in the Senate—Sen. John Barrasso, MD (R-WY), Sen. Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK), and Sen. Rand Paul, MD (R-KY)—are original cosponsors of the bill.
On March 23, 2013, Representative Tom Price (R-GA) introduced H.R. 1310, the "Medicare Patient Empowerment Act" in the House.
The AMA strongly supports this legislation. More information on this issue as well as a petition that physicians are encouraged to sign can be found at www.mymedicare-mychoice.org
Listen to a one-hour archived webinar on My Medicare, My Choice recorded June 8, 2011.