New Medicare bill would stop 10% MD pay cut

As expected, advocacy groups are rallying round a new Medicare bill which would hold off the planned 10 percent reduction in physician payments. The Senate Finance Committee is currently discussing the bill, which could hold off the doctor-reimbursement cuts by two years or more. The same bill may also level off spending for the Medicare oxygen benefit, which has been cut $1.5 billion of late due to new federal regs. Now on the table is the possibility that Medicare cuts will come out of other providers' skins, such as skilled nursing facilities,  rather than physicians. However, that too alarms advocates. All told, it's probably too soon for any interest group to panic. Right now, there's little agreement in the Senate as to how the final bill should read. Ultimately, though, it seems likely that something will happen to protect physician incomes, given the history of previous attempts at doctor reimbursement cuts.

To learn more about the debate:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report piece

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