House Passes Two Month Fix For Medicare Payment Formula

The House passed a temporary two month fix of the Medicare Payment Formula on Wednesday, attaching it to the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (HR 3326). The bill continues current Medicare payment rates for an additional two months to avoid the 21 percent cut in physician reimbursement which the flawed formula would call for.   The Senate is scheduled to consider the bill on Saturday.

The two month delay would give Congress more time for a longer term fix. Congress has acted annually to prevent the cuts which the formula would result in. This year Democrats attempted to pass a permanent fix but this got caught up in the politics of health care reform with Republicans blocking their efforts. Failure to prevent the cuts would result in large numbers of physicians being forced to stop seeing Medicare patients, greatly limiting access to health care by the elderly and disabled.

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