Physician groups ask Congress to allow seniors to pay doctors out of their own pocket

Todd Williamson, the spokesman for the Coalition of State Medical and National Specialty Societies, also focused his testimony on balanced billing.

"Patients and physicians should be free to enter into private payment arrangements without legal interference or penalty," he testified. "Private contracting is a key principle of American freedom and liberty." 

The Alliance of Specialty Medicine also endorsed the bill in a statement Wednesday. 

"As Medicare reimbursements tumble, and as the cost of running a practice continues to grow, it is increasingly difficult for seniors to find doctors who accept new Medicare patients," spokesman Alex Valadka said. "Much like an out-of-network benefit in private health insurance plans, this new Medicare payment option would enhance patient access to the physician of their choice."