Medicare Rate Cut to Take Effect Monday – Urge Your Senators to Find a Permanent Fix to SGR


On Thursday the U.S. House passed HR 4691, legislation that extends a number of expiring programs for 30 days, including current Medicare physician payment rates.  The Senate unsuccessfully attempted to pass similar legislation by unanimous consent on Friday morning.  The Senate has now adjourned for the weekend, so the 21% Medicare physician payment cut will be effective on Monday, March 1st.  We have been notified that CMS is notifying their contractors to hold Medicare physician claims for 10 business days, starting Monday. 

Delaying a permanent fix through a series of temporary patches in the past has sky-rocketed the cost of a permanent solution, and has fueled this partisan standoff.  The NCMS encourages you to contact Senators Burr and Hagan to let them know that this cut threatens patient access and will irreparably destabilize Medicare.  Congress has neglected to address this issue for nearly half a decade.  Now is the time to permanently fix the SGR so that the elderly and needy do not go without medical treatment.

NCMS leadership and staff will be in Washington, D.C. next week meeting with the North Carolina Congressional Delegation on this very serious issue.

Talking Points:

  • Need a permanent SGR fix.
  • A temporary fix only costs tax payers more money.

Contact Your Senators:

  • Sen. Richard Burr


Contact Senator Burr Online

  •  Sen. Kay Hagan


Contact Senator Hagan Online

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  • Scott Hannum

    Dear Senator Burr

    i am a busy joint replacement orthopaedic surgeon in Wilmington. 49% of my patients are medicare. Starting this week for the first time in my 10 year career we will be limiting new patients visits and surgeries to medicare patients. We have cut costs, laid off nurses and staff to control overhead but the medicare rollercoaster and flawed SGR formula have gone too far. i enjoy changing the lives of my medicare patients to allow them to walk again. FIX THE SGR FORMULA FOR GOOD.

  • Further evidence that the AMA is a waste of an organization. Instead of making deals with the Obama administration, they should have been demanding the changes we all know are needed. I would ask that the state organizations combine to become the real voice of medicine.

  • I’ll continue seeing Medicare patients as of 3/1/10 and accept a 21.5% paycut if the US Congress likewise accepts a 21.5% paycut, effective 3/1/10.

  • I sent the following note to Senators Burr and Hagan. I think all physicians should stop seeing Medicare patients the first 10 days of March. When canceling these appointments we should instruct our patients to call Senators Burr and Hagan to get “authorization” to see their physicians

    To Senators:

    “I live by a few simple mottos. One of my favorites is:

    “I work and I get paid, If I don’t get paid I don’t work.”

    I have just been notified by NCMS that not only is the SGR cut going into effect Monday but CMS is telling contractors to hold all physicians claims for 10 days. If this is so I hope your office is prepared because I as I am canceling my Medicare patient’s appointments for the first 10 days in March I am going to pass them your phone number to and have them call you to find out when their health insurance plan is going to start paying claims again so that they can go back to the doctor.”