Medicare Physician Payment Cut Still in Place for January 1

Congressional leaders from both parties have publicly stated that they are committed to take action before the end of year to avert the scheduled 27 percent cut in Medicare physician payments. However, it’s not clear what action Congress might take as it returns from a Thanksgiving recess. The AMA reports that options for relief from the sustainable growth rate (SGR) range from short-term patches of a year or two to longer-term relief that provides for transition to a new Medicare physician payment system. A bid for a permanent repeal of the SGR was derailed when the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction announced last month that it had failed to reach agreement on a deficit reduction proposal.

The NCMS urges physicians, to share their concerns with members of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation. Click here to find contact information for your Representatives and Senators and ask what steps they plan to take to end the ongoing SGR fiasco.


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1 Comment

  • R Thomas Barowsky, MD

    Following is a diatribe I forwarded to my Congressional reps in both houses:

    Once again the Congress is coming up against the deadline to fix, repeal or ignore the SGR sword hanging over the head of healthcare providers nationwide. Once again the Congress has kicked that particular ominus can down the road. What happens when 1 January 2012 comes and the re is no fix? Medicare reduces my reimbursement by 28% and everyone waits for a lethargic, uncaring Congress to reluctently do their job. In the meantime I have to borrow against my line of credit to pay staff (or lay some of them off) forcing my already high overhead to go higher. Since my practice is comprised of a very high percentage of Medicare patients (80-85%) my only other choice is to close my doors and leave the seniors of Sampson county short another experienced physician. Once the Congress approves the re-establishment of current reimbursement levels (as they did 5 times last year alone) I now need to pay overtime to my staff to reconcile the accounts with the new reimbursement (did I mention that these games that the Congress is playing with Medicare reimbursement are causing my overhead to continue to climb?. Since I can’t vote myself an increase in office allowances like the Congress did this past year, I have to eat the increased costs of doing business with Medicare. Early retirement is looking better and better the more I write. Please act responsibly and get the job done correctly and soon or, judging from what I hear from my colleagues there will be a lot of unhappy seniors calling your office shortly after the first of the year.