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'Doc Fix' Add Coming Soon to Budget Deal 'Doc Fix' Add Coming Soon to Budget Deal

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Health Care

'Doc Fix' Add Coming Soon to Budget Deal

A three-month delay of cuts to Medicare payments will give Congress more wiggle room to agree on a permanent solution.

Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) and the House Rules Committee will meet Wednesday afternoon to markup the budget deal and a three-month "doc-fix."(Liz Lynch)

photo of Clara Ritger
December 11, 2013

The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday to consider a budget deal addition that would stave off a 20 percent cut to Medicare physicians' payments slated to take effect Jan. 1.

The so-called doc fix would only delay the cuts to physicians for three months, giving Congress time to hammer out a more permanent solution to the flawed Medicare payment model.

The sustainable growth rate formula is currently used to determine reimbursements to physicians for providing health services to Medicare beneficiaries, designed to institute cuts when federal spending and intake don't match up. Congress had hoped to repeal and replace the SGR altogether, but the permanent doc-fix proposal that has garnered support on both sides of the aisle will likely see nothing more than a markup in House and Senate committees prior to the holiday recess.

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