by: Joanne Finnegan @ Fierce Healthcare

Most physicians charge more than the Medicare program pays for their services, but there’s a wide variation among specialties and regions, a new study has found. The study, published in JAMA, found that nearly all doctors bill patients far more than what the Medicare program pays. Overall, physicians in 54 specialties charged a median of 2.5 times what Medicare charges, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Carey Business School.

But the so-called “excess charges” vary greatly by specialty and region. Anesthesiologists had the highest median charge-to-Medicare payment ratio at 5.8, where general practice had the lowest markup at 1.6.

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