MASSDEVICE ON CALL — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that the House will pass a 2-month extension to the "doc fix," a payroll tax break extension saving doctors from a looming cut in Medicare reimbursement payments.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had already started planning the nearly 30% cut for some time next month.
Physicians stand to lose 27.4% of their reimbursement payments in an accumulation of gradual cuts that have been delayed by Congress in a series of efforts colloquially called the "doc fix."
The Senate and House are still in disagreement over a longer-term doc fix, according to theHill.com. This extension is only meant to hold out until after the holiday season.
The House voted against the Senate payroll tax bill that extended tax credits for one year and approved a payroll tax package that maintains Medicare rates for doctors for two years, but raises rates for high-income seniors.
The House bill, which President Barack Obama threatened to veto, hasn’t gathered much favor with the Senate, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calling it "dead on arrival."
In the past, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid has taken steps to ensure that physician payments remain intact, going so far as to delay processing reimbursements for up to a month to give Congress time to sort out a new strategy, MedPage Today reported.
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