Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Senate Agrees To Postpone Medicare Physician Payment Cut

The NAHU Newswire reports good news concerning Medicare cuts that were to take place Dec 1st have now been postponed.

The AP (11/19) reports, "The Senate late Thursday voted to postpone a massive cut in Medicare pay for doctors, agreeing to pay doctors at current levels through Dec. 31. If the House goes along, Congress would stave off a 23 percent cut in doctors' pay scheduled to take effect Dec. 1." The AP adds, "The cost of the one-month postponement, $1 billion over 10 years, will be paid for by changes in Medicare reimbursement for outpatient therapy services." AARP Senior Vice President David Sloane "hailed the Senate vote and urged to House to follow suit to avoid what he called 'a potentially devastating pay cut to doctors in Medicare, ensuring seniors can continue to see their doctors during the holiday season.'"

The New York Times (11/19, Pear) reports in The Caucus blog, "The American Medical Association says many doctors are already limiting the number of Medicare patients they treat. The continuing threat of cuts could worsen the problem, the association said." Likewise, "AARP, the lobby for older Americans, urged Congress to act immediately." AARP CEO Barry Rand said, "Over 80 percent of our members are concerned that a Medicare pay cut will threaten access to their doctors. ... With baby boomers starting to retire, it's more important than ever that Congress take action to keep doctors in the Medicare program."