BNA’s Health Care Daily Report™ sets the standard for reliable, high-intensity coverage of breaking health care news, covering all major legal, policy, industry, and consumer developments in a...
President Obama Dec. 23 signed payroll tax cut legislation (H.R. 3765) that defers until the end of February a scheduled 27 percent Medicare pay cut for physicians.
The president signed the measure after the House and Senate approved it by unanimous consent earlier Dec. 23.
Passage of the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 provides only temporary relief for physicians as they are now faced with another looming deadline in which their Medicare payments could be reduced. Physicians' Medicare reimbursement had been scheduled to be reduced Jan. 1 (247 HCDR, 12/23/11).
A House-Senate conference committee has been established to negotiate a package that would extend the payroll tax cut, including the physician payment provision, through the end of 2012.
The law also extends for two months expiring Medicare payment provisions for numerous providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, and ambulance service providers.
Physicians expressed relief that the cut was temporarily canceled, but they renewed their call for lawmakers to permanently fix Medicare's reimbursement system for doctors.
“With this brief reprieve from the massive 27 percent cut to Medicare payments, Congress now has to enact a real and fiscally responsible solution to this sorry cycle of scheduled cuts and short-term patches that compromises access to care for patients and drives up costs for taxpayers,” the American Medical Association said in a Dec. 22 statement.
“Members of Congress need to use this time to work in a bipartisan manner to provide long-term stability for seniors, military families and the physicians who care for them,” AMA said.
“Eleventh-hour legislation that fails to meet the needs of constituents is no way to conduct the nation's business,” the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) added in a Dec. 23 statement. “That is particularly true when millions of Americans' health and welfare are at stake.”
“But last-minute, inadequate legislation is exactly what Congress has done with passage of an absurdly short reprieve from the 27.4 percent cut in physician payment mandated by the deeply flawed sustainable growth rate formula for Medicare,” the association continued.
“Americans are tired of short-term, insufficient answers to long-standing problems. Americans want a permanent solution. They want Congress to look beyond the next few months or the next year. They want health security. Instead, they got a bitter holiday gift—an extra 60 days before health insecurity again sets in,” AAFP said.
Text of the law is available at http://op.bna.com/hl.nsf/r?Open=bbrk-8psvuf.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)