An agreement in Congress could mean higher health care reimbursements for Wisconsin medical providers.

The deal struck in Washington Thursday would revise how Medicare payments are made, basing it on the quality of care rather than the quantity provided. Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI), who helped negotiate the proposal, says it would result in a study that will help update the reimbursement formula so the true cost of providing care is what determines how much a provider receives.

Kind says the current system wastes over $700 billion a year by simply paying for care provided, rather than paying for care that actually helps improve the quality of a patient’s life.

The Democrat from western Wisconsin says the change is crucial, in order to prepare Medicare for the millions of baby boomers who will soon be relying on it. He says adding 70 million people to the system without changing the formula will bankrupt it.

The deal will also lead to a study that would improve how payments are made geographically. Kind says that will help Midwestern state that have historically received lower reimbursement rates that other parts of the country.

Kind says the proposal has the support of leadership in the U.S. House.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 1:09)

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