Senate Acts On Medicare Doctor Pay Fix
Although the Senate agreed to postpone for one month cuts in Medicare physician payments, the House must still act, too, in order to delay a scheduled fee reduction that will kick in Dec. 1.This very short-term approach is likely to frustrate the physician community.
Senate Agrees To Delay Huge Cut In Medicare Payments To Doctors
The Senate agreed Thursday to postpone for a month a giant cut in Medicare payments to doctors that had been scheduled to take effect Dec. 1 (Levey, Los Angeles Times, 11/18).
Senate Passes One-Month 'Doc Fix'
The top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Finance Committee shepherded through a one-month "doc fix" Thursday paid for by cuts to payments for certain therapy services. The goal is to have the House pick up the bill after the Thanksgiving recess, on Nov. 29 or 30. Doctors would see a 23 percent cut in their Medicare payments under the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula on Dec. 1 if the House doesn't act before then (Pecquet, The Hill, 11/18).
Senate To Delay Medicare Cut
The Senate Thursday unanimously approved a one-month delay of the 23 percent cut in Medicare physician payments planned for Dec 1. Key Democrats and Republicans reached agreement on the plan Thursday afternoon, according to congressional aides. The House is out of session until after Thanksgiving. The move is likely to frustrate medical groups and doctors, who say the Medicare program suffers from too much instability under the existing Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which calls for the payment cut. This is the fourth short-term patch lawmakers have had to pass this year alone. ... Physicians had hoped for at least a one-year reprieve. The bill is expected to cost about $1 billion and is fully paid for, a key condition to get GOP approval. Its paid for by cutting reimbursements for certain outpatient therapy services (Haberkorn, Politico, 11/18).
Delay On Doctors Medicare Pay Cut Gives Time For Longer Fix
Physicians may withdraw from Medicare if the scheduled cuts are imposed, the Chicago-based American Medical Association said in a Nov. 15 statement on its web site. Baucus and Grassley said they are working on a one-year solution to provide certainty to doctors and patients concerned the one-month delay is just a temporary reprieve (Armstrong and Wayne, 11/19).
Deal Reached To Postpone Doctors' Medicare Cut
The Senate late Thursday voted to postpone a massive cut in Medicare pay for doctors, agreeing to pay doctors at current levels through Dec. 31. If the House goes along, Congress would stave off a 23 percent cut in doctors' pay scheduled to take effect Dec. 1. The cost of the one-month postponement, $1 billion over 10 years, will be paid for by changes in Medicare reimbursement for outpatient therapy services (Alonso-Zaldivar, The Associated Press, 11/18).