Thursday, June 17, 2010

Medicare payment cut (21%) to doctors critical right now; when does Senate act?

According to the AARP, doctors faced a pay cut of 21% for seeing Medicare patients, while CMS froze Medicare payments to doctors to give the Senate more time to decide whether to postpone the cut to these doctors. The AARP story by Patricia Barry is here.

I will check to see where this is in the Senate (since it’s June 17 now and apparently the CMS authority ran out June 14.) I don’t see anything clear year in Bing.

John W. House (an ironic name given the name of the TV series) wrote on the Huffington post in March that the 21% cut would create a two-tiered health care system, link here. He talks about the SGR, or Sustainable Growth Rate Formula, and writes “The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula was created by Congress to control costs of Medicare. From the start, SGR never worked the way it was intended. It is unfair to cut the Medicare payment to physicians because the cost of all areas of medicine is increasing. This increase is a result of better technology, better drugs and longer life spans.”

Update: June 18

The pay cuts to doctors for Medicare  patients took effect today.

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