Update: Congress and President Act to Pass “Patch” for Pending 21 percent Medicare Physician Payment Cut

Chicago — (March 3, 2010) 

Late last night, the president signed H.R. 4691, the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 into law. This legislation includes a “patch” that temporarily postpones the pending 21 percent Medicare physician payment cut until March 31, 2010.  The President received the bill following passage in the Senate by a vote of 78 – 19.  Senate consideration was made possible when Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) lifted his objection to the legislation allowing the bill to move forward.

The House of Representatives previously passed the legislation on February 25.

Congressional negotiators continue to work to address the pending 21 percent payment cut and the flaws in the underlying Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.  Senate leadership is focused on H.R. 4213 the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010. This legislation includes an additional “patch” for the 21 percent cut until Sept. 30, 2010. The legislation also includes provisions to extend the geographic practice cost index (GPCI) floor through Dec. 31, 2010. 

ASA urges Congress to fully repeal the current SGR formula and implement 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 asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Join the ANESTHESIOLOGYTM 2014 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES2014.



American Society of Anesthesiologists