February 26, 2010
Update: Scheduled 21 percent Medicare Physician Payment Cut to be Implemented
As a result of U.S. House and Senate negotiators failing to reach
consensus, the pending 21 percent Medicare physician payment cut will
be implemented on March 1st. The implementation is expected to be
Over the last few
days, Senate negotiators attempted to advance a 30-day “patch” as part
of legislation to extend a series of expiring tax provisions. This
“extenders” package was blocked from consideration by Senator Jim
Bunning (R-KY). Senator Bunning objected to the package for budgetary
The House of
Representatives successfully passed a 30-day “patch” as part of its
“extenders” package, H.R. 4691, the Temporary Extension Act of 2010,
the evening of February 25th.
advancing legislation to avoid the 21 percent payment cut are expected
to continue over the weekend and into early next week. Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid has crafted an “extenders” package that includes a
7-month physician payment “patch.” It is expected he will attempt to
advance the proposal Tuesday, March 2nd.
Medical Association has informed medical specialty organizations that
the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) intends to notify
their contractors to hold Medicare physician claims for 10 additional
business days, effective Monday, March 1st.
ASA continues to push for a full 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.