Congress Expected to Vote Today on Spending Measure that Includes Medicare Physician Reimbursement

The US House and Senate are expected to vote today on a $1 trillion interim spending package that was crafted last night by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The package includes a tweak to a proposal to extend the Medicare physician reimbursement rate, in order to delay a 27.3% cut scheduled to take effect January 1, 2012. Also included are higher Medicare premiums for upper-income seniors. The spending plan was worked out only hours before the deadline that could have led  a government shutdown after midnight tonight.

The NCMS and AMA continue to advocate for a repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) that has resulted in scheduled cuts to physician Medicare reimbursements. Over the past decade, Congress has chosen to apply short-term delays rather than address the SGR fix, causing a steady and dramatic increase in the size of the cuts. The NCMS urges physicians to contact members of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation and ask what steps they plan to take to fix the broken SGR and improve the fiscal sustainability of the Medicare program, so seniors will have continued access to health care.


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