June 18, 2010
Senate Passes Free-Standing “Doc Fix” Bill
Moments ago, the U.S. Senate passed by unanimous consent a free-standing bill that averts the pending 21 percent payment cut and provides physicians a 2.2 percent Medicare update effective June 1 and extending through November 30.
This action follows weeks of failed negotiations seeking to find agreement on an amendment to H.R. 4213, “The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act,” that would address the SGR issue. After failing to find consensus on the amendment as part of the jobs and tax bill, the Senate leadership extracted the SGR issue for standalone consideration.
House consideration and passage of the new bill, technically a modified version of H.R. 3962, is still required. With the House adjourned for the week, consideration is not expected until Tuesday, June 22.
ASA is currently seeking clarification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding whether the agency will direct carriers to further hold claims or whether previous instructions directing carriers to begin processing claims with the 21 percent cut remain in effect.