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Current Medicare Physician Payment Rates Extended for One-Year; Sequester Cut Postponed Two Months
Posted on: 1/1/2013

 Current Medicare Physician Payment Rates Extended for One Year; Sequester Cut Postponed Two Months

With Congress' passage of the so-called fiscal cliff bill, Medicare's physician payment cut of 26.5 percent, which was scheduled for January 1, hits the brakes. The current payment rates, based on the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, have now been extended for one year.

The bill also delays a deficit reduction sequester cut by two months, which would have cut Medicare physician payment rates by 2 percent starting this month.

Overall, doctors dodged an immediate cut of 28.5 percent.

But this is only temporary relief - the flawed SGR formula lives on and the 2 percent sequestration cut will again threaten payment cuts in March 2013.  

ISMS had recently joined numerous other medical organizations representing the vast majority of practicing physicians and medical students nationwide - 128 in total - urging Congress to develop and pass an agreement to stop the sequestration cuts. The letter stressed how the "formulaic sequestration methodology" is not the solution for achieving the United States' health care goals in the long run.

Congress must create a framework for a permanent SGR repeal in 2013 and any deficit reduction should not be at the expense of patient access!

Questions? The ISMS Advocacy Team is standing by to help; call 800-782-4767 ext. 1470 or send an email.


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