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U.S District Court Dismisses Lawsuit Regarding Physician Payment Cuts to Medicare Reimbursements

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) against the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The suit was based on the DHHS’s cuts to Medicare reimbursements for cardiology services. The ACC requested the court to block the cuts and to prevent Medicare from using the Physician Practice Information Survey (PPIS) methodology for calculating payment rates. According to the ACC, PPIS methodology does not provide an accurate picture of physician costs. In its ruling, the court stated that it dismissed the lawsuit because it did not have the authority to review Medicare claims.

This ruling will affect Medicare physicians of all specialties who may face a 21.2% fee cut as a result of the 2010 Physician Fee Schedule. Although the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would prevent this 21.2% physician payment cut in November, the Senate has yet to vote on a permanent solution. For now, the House voted to temporarily suspend the cut for two months.

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