‘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.

Pete Sessions talks with reporters at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) election watch party at the Washington Hyatt on Tuesday, November 2, 2010.
©2010 Richard A. Bloom
Clara Ritger
Dec. 11, 2013, 8:44 a.m.

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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