Medicare Pay Cut Delayed Until April 1

03/04/2010 - News

Medicare Pay Cut Delayed Until April 1

By: June Chen, MD

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On March 2, 2010, President Barack Obama signed a bill delaying the effective date of a proposed 21.2% reduction in Medicare reimbursement for physicians until April 1, 2010. The Medicare pay cut was originally scheduled to take effect on March 1, 2010.

As we reported earlier this week, the House had already approved a delay in the Medicare reimbursement reduction, but Senate approval was held up by Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, who was against delaying the Medicare pay cut due to concerns about adding billions of dollars to the federal deficit. However, on March 2, 2010, the Senate passed the bill to delay the massive Medicare cut by a vote of 78-19.

Organized medicine, including societies such as the American Medical Association, have issued warnings that a bill cutting Medicare reimbursement by over one-fifth would force physicians to turn away both Medicare patients and military families whose medical coverage is based on the same Medicare reimbursement rates.

Democratic members of Congress are now working on a new bill called the American Workers, State and Business Relief Act, which would further extend the Medicare pay cut until October 1, 2010. According to the Congressional Budget Office, postponing the Medicare pay cut until October will add an estimated $7.3 billion to the federal deficit. In the mean time, organized medicine will continue to lobby the Senate to repeal the outdated growth rate formula used by Medicare to set physician reimbursement.

 

Created on: 03/04/2010
Reviewed on: 03/04/2010

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Anonymous wrote 3 weeks 2 days ago

My doctor dropped Medicare this past October because the reimbursement for office visits dropped. He said it was too much of a hassle to deal with Medicare.

Anonymous wrote 3 weeks 2 days ago

My medicare contribution has tripled because of my income and now I am concerned doctors will not even accept medicare patients.

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