In addition to providing an additional 12-month reprieve from the 25 percent Medicare physician payment cut scheduled to take effect on January 1, the bill extends a number of payment policies that were set to expire at the end of this year. It also includes funds to enable Medicare contractors to reprocess claims for physician services affected by provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed last spring with a retroactive effective date of January 1, 2010. A more detailed summary of the bill’s provisions will be available on the ACMS website.
While extending the existing fee schedule provides some relief from the multiple short term extensions of 2010 and stability for physician practices budgeting purposes,, it is critical that the coming year see a resolution that changes the flawed SGR payment formula that produces the draconian payment cuts, and fails to reflect the increased cost of caring for patients.
We will continue local advocacy with our congressional representatives to change the future of the Medicare program, and assure access to needed care for our seniors. Thank you for your continued contacts with our elected representatives
John F. Delaney, Jr, MD, MPH, DrPH