American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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College fights new Medicare fees

From the September 1998 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright © 1998 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

ACP-ASIM is working to defeat HCFA's request for new "user fees" that would target physicians' wallets.

As part of the Clinton administration's 1999 budget, HCFA has proposed charging physicians a $100 enrollment fee, an annual re-enrollment fee of $25, a $1 fee for each Medicare claim that is not submitted electronically, and a $1 fee for duplicate or "unprocessable" claims. The agency wants to use the fees to pay for administrative expenses such as fraud and abuse investigations.

ACP-ASIM has joined two coalitions opposed to the new charges, which have been pressuring Congress to reject user fees. It has also been lobbying key Congressional staff and has co-signed several letters to the House and Senate committees reviewing the proposed fees. In addition, many internists who are part of the College's Key Contact Network have contacted their Congressional representatives about the issue.

Earlier this summer, the House Appropriations Committee rejected HCFA's request for new user fees. The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on the issue early this month.

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