Medicare Doctor Pay Cuts Postponed for Next 30 Days By Senate

Doctors may have something to be thankful for this week as their reimbursement rates will remain in place for another 30 days if the House can pass similar legislation.  Last week, the Senate passed a bill last week that would block a scheduled 23% cut.  Doctors, senior advocacy organizations and the American Medical Association has been lobbying lawmakers to prevent the scheduled cuts during the past six weeks leading up to the original deadline of December 1st.  The House must pass similar legislation to postpone the pay cut prior to December 1.

"The Senate’s action to stop the Medicare cut for one month will help avert a health care access crisis for seniors that would have begun in just two weeks. This is a short-term reprieve, and the AMA is urging Congress to pass a one-year fix as soon as they return from the Thanksgiving holiday.  Delaying the 25 percent cut to the end of 2011 will inject some stability into the Medicare program for patients and physicians and provide lawmakers with time to develop a long-term solution to the broken physician payment system,”  said Cecil Wilson, MD, President, American Medical Association in a statement released last week.