Sunday, November 28, 2010

Doctors' Medicare pay cut postponed

The Senate recently voted to postpone a massive cut in Medicare pay for doctors, agreeing to pay doctors at current levels through Dec. 31.

If the House goes along, Congress would stave off a 23 percent cut in doctors' pay scheduled to take effect Dec. 1. The cost of the one-month postponement, $1 billion over 10 years, will be paid for by changes in Medicare reimbursement for outpatient therapy services.

The Senate's approval came after an agreement on the one-month postponement was announced earlier in the day by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and the panel's top Republican, Charles Grassley of Iowa. Baucus and Grassley also pledged to work toward a 12-month postponement that could pass before the end of this year.

Doctors had threatened to stop taking new Medicare patients if the cut had gone through.


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