This week, the news is all about physician payments and the rush to get the Senate to reverse the 21% Medicare pay cut that technically went into effect on June 1. Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have been holding payments since the beginning of the month, trying to give Congress enough time to pass a pay fix. Earlier today, CMS announced that it will hold Medicare payments a little longer—until Friday. So Senators have a new deadline.
In the meantime, physicians are doing their best to turn up the pressure on lawmakers. The American Medical Association is meeting this week and they are devoting quite a bit of time to press conferences and rallies on the need to permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate, the formula used to determine Medicare physician payments each year. On June 13, AMA delegates got together to sign their white lab coats and mail them out to members of Congress. We’ll find out in the next few days if Congress got the message.
Hear more about the SGR crisis and plans to revamp the Medicare payment model in this week’s edition of the Policy & Practice Podcast.
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— Mary Ellen Schneider (on Twitter @MaryEllenNY)