Physician Medicare Cuts Delayed Til 2014

Well, they did it again. The press is congratulating Congress on the "success" of coming up with a New Year's Night deal on that no one likes. For physicians, this deal contains a delay in the 27% cut in Medicare payments to physicians according to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). For full coverage of this story, I encourage you to read articles from Medpage Today, Kaiser Health News, and Modern Healthcare. (Photo credit: New York Times)

The 26.5% cut in Medicare reimbursement mandated by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula was averted in a literal 11th hour vote Tuesday in the House of Representatives. The House vote to pass the "fiscal cliff" bill ok'd earlier by the Senate delays the SGR cuts for a year. The bill cleared the House by a vote of 257-167; senators had passed the same bill in an 89-8 vote just after 2:00 a.m. vote.

While Congress has put another bandaid on the SGR problem, a long term solution is still needed, because when December 31, 2013 comes, we'll be going through this thing all over again, and the potential cuts will probably be in the 30% range. Medical organizations will again be out encouraging their members to lobby congress for a long term Medicare payment solution. How effective will they be? We'll see...