Today's the deadline for a 21% cut in Medicare reimbursement. Congress didn't get a temporary fix pushed through in time, so Medicare is going to hold claims for 10 days to allow lawmakers enough time to act. Still, solo doctors and small practices worry that they will immediately feel the pinch. One internal medicine practice wrote its patients partly to warn them, but also to put pressure on lawmakers to act. Another warns that practices serving a large proportion of retirees are in even more trouble. ACP President Joseph Stubbs, FACP, remarked to Medscape that this has happened before, forcing some practices to take out short-term loans to meet payroll. (Health Leaders Media, The Daily Sentinel, TopNews.com)
It's going to be a busy week. Lawmakers can take up the issue of Medicare cuts later this week, but the White House is also going to signal its intentions on health care reform in the next few days. Both sides are taking sides, and talk about bipartisanship is being left behind. Democrats may have the votes to pass it without Republican support, but it's not a sure thing. Democrats counter that with 100 Republican amendments, the bill is bipartisan even if the final voting isn't. (New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal, CNN)
In case you missed it ...
President Barack Obama received his annual check-up, and the results are online if you want to peek at the president's lab results.