February 21, 2012
Lawmakers Approve the "Doc Fix" Freezing Medicare Rate Cuts for 2012
By Frederick Segal and Christina Kuta*
On Friday, Congressional lawmakers approved an extension to the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012,1 which contains a "doc fix" preventing a 27.4% cut in Medicare physician payments that was set to begin on March 1, 2012. Once signed into law by President Barack Obama, Medicare payment rates will remain at their current levels through December 31, 2012. Additionally, Congress requested that the U.S. Government Accountability Office submit reports regarding the development of a long-term alternative to the current Medicare physician payment system. The American Medical Association and specialty societies continue to call for a permanent fix to the Medicare physician payment formula. The American Hospital Association also has voiced its frustration related to funding physician payments from hospital payment reductions.
*We would like to thank Frederick D. Segal, Esquire (Broad and Cassel, Miami, FL), and Christina Kuta, Esquire (Kamensky Rubinstein Hochman & Delott LLP, Lincolnwood, IL), for authoring and editing this email alert, and Julie E. Kass, Esquire (Ober|Kaler, Baltimore, MD), Sidney S. Welch, Esquire, and Jessica T. Grozine, Esquire (Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, Atlanta, GA), for editing it.
1 HR 3630, 112th Cong. (2nd Sess. 2012).
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