A little-known group of doctors exercises a powerful influence on how much Medicare pays for more than 200 medical procedures, Joe Eaton reports at the Center for Public Integrity. It’s not a federal panel, but a committee of the American Medical Association. One of the more troubling results of the committee’s influence in setting Medicare rates, critics say, is that it overvalues expensive, high-tech medical procedures and tests at the expense of face-to-face consultations with family physicians.

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