KHN Morning Briefing

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Congressional Leaders Explore Long-Term Fix To Medicare Physician Payments

As the next round of cuts -- a 21 percent reduction -- are scheduled to kick in April 1, bipartisan efforts are underway to negotiate a compromise that would permanently revamp this Medicare trouble spot.

The Wall Street Journal: Congress Explores Longer-Term Solution For Medicare Physician Payments
Congressional leaders are discussing ways permanently to end the recurring scramble to avoid cuts in Medicare payments to physicians, lawmakers and aides said on Wednesday. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), and the leaders of several House committees are looking for ways to solve the perennial problem known as “doc fix” before the latest short-term patch expires at month’s end, aides said. (Peterson and Radnofsky, 3/11)

The Associated Press: House Leaders Looking For Deal To Halt Medicare Payment Cuts
Aides to top House Republicans and Democrats are trying to negotiate a bipartisan compromise to permanently revamp a law that annually threatens cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, including a 21 percent reduction set to take effect April 1. As part of the talks, bargainers are considering budget cuts that could offset part, but not all, of the measure's costs, according to lobbyists following the negotiations. The estimated 10-year price of repealing the annual Medicare cuts is roughly $175 billion. (Fram, 3/11)

CQ Healthbeat: Wyden Hints Permanent 'Doc Fix' Could Be Near
The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee suggested Wednesday the House is negotiating legislation to permanently replace Medicare’s physician payment formula, as opposed to passing a temporary patch to avert cuts that would take effect April 1. (Attias, 3/11)

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