Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Delay on Medicare Reimbursement Cuts Proposed

Congressional negotiators tentatively agreed Tuesday to maintain Medicare payment rates for doctors as part of a plan that also continues unemployment benefits and extends a reduction in the payroll tax until the end of the year. Current Medicare payments to doctors would be paid by cutting Medicare reimbursements to hospitals and reducing by half an $8 billion program for a prevention and public health fund established in the new health care law. However, nothing is set in stone because, as of this morning, the actual text of the legislation has not been made public. The bill must also pass the full House and the Senate, as well. Should the proposed bill pass, it will prevent a 27 percent cut in Medicare reimbursement to physicians.

APA and other medical organizations continue to work with members of Congress to eliminate such repeated short-term fixes and replace them with a permanent system to fairly reimburse physicians, including psychiatrists, for their services under Medicare. To read a letter that APA has sent to members of Congress on the matter recently, click here. APA is also urging its members to contact their representatives in Congress and ask them to sign on to this letter.

(Image: Steven Frame/Shutterstock)


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