Medicare Assignment Rules
Medicare payment rules, including the ban on balance billing and restrictions on private contracting, have evolved in conjunction with changes in the Medicare fee schedule. Absent a cap on balance billing, there were concerns that any future efforts to slow down growth in physician fees might be met by physicians shifting an ever-rising share of the burden onto Medicare beneficiaries. Likewise, restrictions on private contracting foreclose the possibility that physicians will evade restrictive. The Duke Center for Health Policy has developed a draft working paper assessing the costs and benefits of Medicare assignment rules (pdf).