Governor Tom Vilsack says it’s likely a lawsuit will be filed within 30 days if federal officials don’t grant Iowa’s request to change the Medicare system to boost reimbursements for Iowa doctors and hospitals. Vilsack and 20 other Governors have appealed to U-S Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, asking that Iowa’s share of the Medicare pie be increased. Vilsack expects Thompson’s reply this week. Vilsack says Iowa is fully prepared to proceed with litigation to compel the federal government to establish a fairer system. The Bush Administration is floating an idea to cut Medicare payments for some procedures, a trend Vilsack calls “troublesome.”Vilsack says that runs counter to what Congress is trying to do, which he says it to provide more resources for elder care. When Iowa’s hospitals and doctors treat the elderly, the reimbursement they get from Medicare is the lowest in the nation.
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