We’ve come to the time when Medicare rate slashing would be activated.
Once again, however, the “Doc Fix” has come into play. The 23% cut to Medicare reimbursement for doctors has been postponed by a unanimous vote in the Senate….but only for one month from December 1 to January 1. The 2.2% raise stipulated in a prior doc fix bill will also be maintained by the Physician Payment and Therapy Relief Act, designed by Senator Max Baucus (chairman of the Senate Finance Committee) and Senator Chuck Grassley. They are also attempting to have this extend through the month of January.
Funding for the doc fix would come from a decrease in reimbursement for outpatient therapies performed on the same day.
House Democrats led by Rep. John Dingell proposed extending relief from Medicare cuts until 2012.
Although funding has not been found for Dingell’s proposal, it makes more sense than to vote on it each month. As witnessed from last year, providers are made nervous on a regular basis as to whether they will be able to meet their costs.
Let’s not be short-sighted and entice more physicians to flee the Medicare system. We depend on them.