This was successfully posted to your pofile.
This box will close automatically in a few seconds. Close this window
We don't have an e-mail address on file for you. To use AAFP Connection, you must have an e-mail address in our records. Click Here
Physician Payment Solution Continues to Elude Congress
21.2 Percent Payment Cut Set to Take Effect April 1
By News Staff
The 21.2 percent reduction called for by the SGR was scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. However, Congress passed a short-term patch that delayed the payment reduction until March 1. On March 1, the scheduled cut took effect because the Senate did not act to extend the deadline in time. They later reversed the cut for another one-month period, which is scheduled to expire on April 1.
In the interim, CMS has instructed its contractors to hold payments for services delivered after April 1 for 10 business days or until April 14, which should give Congress enough time to reverse the cut before it actually affects physicians. Congress is scheduled to re-convene on April 12 and is expected to move quickly to reverse the Medicare payment cut.
Although the House approved a bill to provide another one-month payment extension on March 17, the Senate was unable to pass the measure under a unanimous consent calendar.
Heim decried the inability of Congress to pass a long-term solution to the SGR.
"We understand there are multiple issues involved," said Heim. "However, our request is that they stop playing with this issue and resolve it so physicians who have Medicare patients can have a stable future."
The Senate passed a bill earlier this year that would provide a payment fix until Oct. 1, but the measure included off-setting reductions in spending and increases in taxes that are contained in the larger health reform bill that was just passed. Congress cannot use the same offsets in both bills, leading the House to pass another one-month patch to give lawmakers more time to find new budget offsets to pay for the provisions in the bill.
House Action Moves Congress Closer to Approving Payment Patch
21.2 Percent Payment Cut Still Looms at End of April
21.2 Percent Medicare Cut Averted
Senate Acts to Reverse Deep Reductions in Physician Payments
AAFP Rallies Member Support for Permanent SGR Fix
Congress Approves Temporary Payment Patch, President Signs Bill
Legislation Gives Lawmakers More Time to Seek Long-term SGR Solution