House agrees to permanent physician fee fix
This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet
House votes 243-183 to approve the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act (H.R. 3961) on Nov. 19. The bill would halt a planned 21% reduction in fees for physician services, and permanently reform the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) method for calculating physician payments, which would annually reduce overall doctor reimbursement if Congress did not step in each year with temporary reversals. Doctors' payment rates under Medicare would increase by 1.2% in 2010, and restructuring of the SGR would begin in 2011, resulting in "significantly higher payment rates for physicians than those that would result under current law," according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Senate rejected a similar bill last month
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