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Medicare Physician Rate Cut Delayed until May 31, 2010

On April 15 President Obama signed H.R. 4851 into law, blocking the 21% reduction in Medicare physician payments through May 31. The original Senate bill delayed the cuts until April 30, but was passed with an amendment that pushed the date to May 31. Although the 21% cuts toMedicare reimbursement technically took effect on April 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has withheld processing claims.

The American Medical Association (AMA) continues to react against the repeated delays and uncertainty behind the congressional action. The AMA urges Congress to find a permanent fix to the currently used sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. “Congress must now turn toward solving this problem once and for all through repeal of the broken payment formula…Fixing the Medicare physician payment problem is essential to the security and stability of Medicare.”

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