In June, Congress gave physicians relief from the scheduled 21 percent Medicare pay cut, but only until the end of November. The payment patch, which briefly increases reimbursement by 2.2 percent, leaves doctors in limbo.
Explore this issue:September 2010
If Congress doesn’t intervene by Nov. 30, a 23 percent cut will go into effect in December and increase to nearly 30 percent in January. Now that health reform has passed, medical societies are doubling their efforts to get Congress to repeal the physician payment formula, based on the sustainable growth rate (SGR), and to introduce a system in which annual payment updates reflect changes in the cost of practicing medicine.
Many physicians are still upset that the law did not include permanent Medicare payment reform. “The most sweeping health care reform in a generation has just been passed this year. It’s interesting that the [Medicare payment] formula was not even addressed in this massive health reform legislation,” said Pete S. Batra, MD, associate professor and co-director of the Comprehensive Skull Base Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.| | | Next → | Single Page