Blog | Friday, May 21, 2010

QD: News Every Day--Can Congress halt Medicare cuts before Memorial Day?

The U.S. House will take up a jobs and tax bill that would set Medicare reimbursement rates for the next three years. The measure would offset a 21.3% cut in Medicare reimbursement with $60 billion in funding over three years. Doctors would get a 1.3% raise this year and another 1% raise next year. In 2012 and 2013, primary care doctors would get an additional raise tied to the gross domestic product. The bill also extends the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages until June 2011, a key issue for hospitals. The House is expected to vote next week, and the Senate then takes it up. But Congress takes a one-week break for Memorial Day, so the Senate would have to move quickly.

Primary care's medical societies support the measure. ACP supports the plan because it increases reimbursement, provides an expected reimbursement and creates a framework for a permanent fix. The American Academy of Family Physicians embraced the measure, but the American Medical Association barely acknowledged the three-year fix before continuing to press for a permanent solution to Medicare reimbursement rates.