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GAO Analyzes Connection Between Hospital-Physician Consolidation and Increased Medicare Spending for Evaluation and Management Services, Recommends Equalizing Rates for E/M Services in Office and Hospital Outpatient Settings

On December 21, 2015, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report entitled, “Increasing Hospital-Physician Consolidation Highlights Need for Payment Reform.” The GAO’s study was prompted by an inquiry from lawmakers about the more than 8 percent rise in Medicare expenditures for services rendered in hospital outpatient departments (HOPD) between 2007 and 2013, as compared to a 5 percent increase in total Medicare Part B spending during the same time frame.

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