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Monday, April 19, 2010

CONGRESS SLAPS ANOTHER BAND-AID ON MEDICARE PAYMENT FORMULA

This time they went two days past their deadline. Blood oozed around the edges of Medicare’s obviously unsustainable Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, as Congress allowed the 21.3-percent payment cut to take effect for two days before passing yet another emergency bill to stanch the bleeding. This time the payment freeze will last until May 31. American Medical Association officials say any claims paid at the lower rate will be reprocessed without physicians having to resubmit the claims. This is the third time since December that Congress delayed the fee cut. “It is absolutely unacceptable for the United States Congress to inflict this kind of perpetual uncertainty on Medicare patients and their physicians,” said TMA President Bill Fleming, MD. “This is an all-too-real reason why Congress needs to quit dithering and get to work on a permanent new Medicare payment formula today.” AMA says it is working with “House and Senate leadership offices and with White House officials on a long-term solution."

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