Medicare.gov: the official U.S. government site for Medicare
Doctors who accept Medicare Insurance
Many health-care consumers know how complicated the Medicare system can be – and it may be helpful for you to find an advocate to help you navigate your Medicare choices. Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed for people age 65 and older; some younger people who have disabilities; and people who with kidney disease that requires dialysis or a transplant. Although they are often confused, Medicare is not the same thing as Medicaid, the social program for low-income Americans. The Medicare program is divided into different parts – for example, Part A covers an in-patient hospital stay, while Part D adds prescription drug coverage to the original Medicare. Many factors affect Medicare coverage. Among them are whether you have retiree or other health care coverage, and how that plan intersects with your Medicare plan choices. It’s also critical to know if your doctor, hospital and other health professionals accept Medicare.
Doctors and Medicare Payment, Reimbursement, and Excess Charges
Three times a year, a special committee of doctors meets to discuss recommendations on updates to how much doctors should be paid for their work and other relative values. The committee, also known as the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC), is made up of individuals convened by the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical-specialty trade groups. Around 90% of the recommendations by the RUC are followed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), allowing the committee great influence over the billions of taxpayer dollars in the Medicare program.