Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Huge Medicare Payment Cut Postponed by Senate

Among the provisions the Senate approved early this morning to keep the country from plunging over the "fiscal cliff" is one that blocks the scheduled 27% cut in Medicare physician reimbursement that was scheduled to take effect today. The reimbursement cut will be postponed for one year yet again, the latest in a series of several annual reprieves voted by Congress to avoid imposing reimbursement cuts on physicians resulting from the sustainable growth rate formula (SGR), which is used to determine what physicians will be paid for treating Medicare beneficiaries.
While the Senate backed the budget package by the substantial margin of 89-8, the House of Representatives has yet to vote on the measure, and its fate there cannot be assured. In addition to the Medicare-related vote, the Senate legislation, among other things, extends long-term unemployment insurance, postpones sequestration-based spending cuts for two months, and reduces risk-adjustment payment to Medicare Advantage plans.

(image: kropic1/Shutterstock.com)


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