Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of a bill that funds Medicare payments until June 1st. This is just another in an ongoing string of temporary extensions. It is clear that Congress has no intention of cutting doctors’ pay by 21%. They just don’t know how to replace the method of calculating reimbursement yet.
One can easily wonder why they don’t just approve full payments for a year or two at a time. They can always eliminate it by future legislation once they determine what formula they DO want to use. Perhaps this is akin to the HCR bill that was passed amidst so much controversy. Perhaps they don’t want to put the Medicare reimbursement formula “out of sight and out of mind.” Meanwhile, it’s a bit of a roller-coaster ride for those who count on the reimbursements to keep their practices running.
The House is expected to approve the bill. Officially, the cuts began today, but it is likely that the latest postponement bill includes language that directs payment be uninterrupted. So long as the bills get paid, some might say, it’s a non-issue. Nevertheless, leaving the physicians of this nation chasing a 21% pay cut seems a bit less than appreciative. It’s time the matter was addressed once and for all, so that physicians can return to caring for their patients, instead of worrying about paying the rent.