Medical device-makers tout flat prices as government seeks cuts

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The panel that advises Congress on Medicare payments has long sought to reduce reimbursements for some devices and diagnostics, particularly for imaging tests that it argues are overprescribed by physicians who get reimbursed too generously. Its latest recommendations suggest requiring doctors who order more tests than most to get prior authorization in order to be reimbursed by Medicare.

A version of that proposal was included in a list of Medicare cuts that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) took to the White House earlier this week. The list includes prior authorization for high-cost imaging services (saves $1.1 billion over 10 years) and changing calculations for advanced imaging payments (saves $800 million).

The report was authored by former Medicare actuary Roland King and Gerald Donahoe, the former associate director for national economic accounts at the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis. It was requested by the trade group Advanced Medical Technology Association.