Important Update: 30-day “patch” possible to prevent March 1st 21 percent Medicare physician payment cut

Chicago — (February 24, 2010) 

As of publication time, Congressional leaders have been unable to reach agreement on a proposal to address the pending 21 percent payment cut and the underlying flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Medicare payment update formula.

Information obtained by ASA lobbyists indicates that a 30-day “patch” is currently under consideration.  The “patch” could be passed as part of H.R. 1586, a tax-related piece of legislation.  The “patch” reportedly would allow lawmakers additional time to negotiate a resolution to the pending cut and the flaws in the underlying formula.

As ASA members will recall, prior to the December 2009 Congressional recess, Congress passed and the President signed into law legislation temporarily halting the 21 percent Medicare payment cut.  The legislation will expire February 28 triggering the implementation of the 21 percent payment cut for services provided on March 1 and beyond.

ASA continues to push for a repeal of the current SGR formula and the implementation of a new Medicare physician payment update mechanism that accurately reflects the increasing annual costs of providing services to Medicare beneficiaries.


Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Join the ANESTHESIOLOGYTM 2014 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES2014.



American Society of Anesthesiologists