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Monday, March 8, 2010

MEDICARE RATES FROZEN FOR ANOTHER MONTH

It’s ironic – or just plain sad – that the next deadline in Washington’s game of “Medicare Chicken” with physicians falls on April Fool’s Day. Congress voted to freeze physicians’ Medicare payment rates once again, forestalling a 21.2-percent cut that otherwise would have affected all claims for services provided in March. “This 28-day freeze is worthless if Congress doesn’t spend the next 28 days devising and passing a permanent new Medicare payment formula,” TMA President Bill Fleming, MD, said in a news release. “We need Washington to understand that they’re playing politics with our patients’ lives.” We continue to urge member physicians to use TMA’s Grassroots Action Center to contact Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn and their U.S. representatives. Share your stories of what the Medicare Meltdown means to your patients and your practice. If you need some inspiration, see some of the videos we’ve posted on TMA’s YouTube channel. Take advantage of the resources we’ve developed to engage your patients, too. Remember also that March 17 is the deadline for physicians to make their Medicare participation decisions for 2010. The TMA Web site includes details on how, and why, to exercise your options.

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