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The Senate Passes a Plan to Fix Medicare Physician Payment for Another Six Months

On June 18 the U.S. Senate passed a six-month plan to prevent the Medicare physician 21 percent payment cut. The measure, which will cost $6.4 billion, was pushed through with the concern that the steep payment cut would raise the possibility that medical providers would turn away patients covered by Medicare. It will delay the cuts until November 30, 2010 while Congress tries to create a long-term plan. The plan was passed unanimously and lawmakers attribute its passage to the efforts to offset its attributed costs.

Almost immediately after the U.S. Senate announced the passage of the plan, Medicare announced that it would process Medicare claims received for June at the lower rate. This is because the U.S. House of Representatives will not be able to consider the plan until next week. However, there are indications that the bill’s success in the House may be complicated. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House will not pass the Senate bill until the Senate agrees to act on job-creation legislation. If the bill does pass in the House, Medicare providers will have the burden to resubmit their claims to be made whole.

For more information on Medicare payments or the physician fee cut, please visit www.wachler.com or contact a Wachler & Associates attorney at 248-544-0888.