The New York Times reports that the Bush administration plans sweeping changes in Medicare payments to hospitals that could cut payments by 20 percent to 30 percent for many complex treatments and new technologies.
The changes, the biggest since the current payment system was adopted in 1983, are meant to improve the accuracy of payment rates. But doctors, hospitals and patient groups say the effects could be devastating.
Federal officials said that biases and distortions in the current system had created financial incentives for hospitals to treat certain patients, on whom they could make money, and to avoid others, who were less profitable.
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