House to vote on Medicare rate cuts
By CNN Wire staffNovember 29, 2010: 9:23 AM ET
RALPH’S NOTE: This scheduled 23% cut of doctors’ reimbursement rates is the reason that obamacare is said to only cost $940 billion dollars. If they (congress), do not allow this rate cut to go into effect, then obamacare will cost much more. If they do allow the rate cuts to go into effect on Wednesday, then it will become very difficult to find a doctor if you have ANY kind of third party payer contract, especially Medicare.
NEW YORK (CNN) — The House on Monday is scheduled to take up a $1 billion measure delaying by one month a 23% cut in federal Medicare reimbursements to doctors.
A 1997 law requires that doctors’ Medicare rates be adjusted each year based on the health of the economy, with the goal of keeping the program in the black. Rate cuts have been blocked 10 times in the last eight years, including four times this year.
The new bill would be paid for using savings from a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services policy that reduces payments for multiple therapy services provided to patients in one day.
Doctors have been heavily lobbying lawmakers to prevent the scheduled cut from taking effect. The American Medical Association has said that if the cut is enacted, doctors may have to stop accepting Medicare patients. Some 43 million people, mostly senior citizens, receive Medicare benefits.
The AMA wants the rate cut blocked for 13 months because it is scheduled to widen to 25% next year. Some senators have said they are working on a measure that would extend the current payment rates through 2011.