CMA After Congress to Prevent Medicare Cuts


CMA After Congress to Prevent Medicare Cuts

The bill passed by the House of Representatives obstructing the Medicare pay cut for doctors has called trouble.

The California Medical Association has asked Congress to act immediately to avoid deep Medicare cuts that are scheduled to take effect Monday, Mar. 1.

The 21% cuts to doctors' compensation in the federal program would hinder senior citizens access to care and force physicians to consider turning away patients or dropping out of the program altogether. But since, Congress has been postponed for the weekend, so an immediate reprieve is unlikely.

35,000 physician members in the Golden State are getting in touch with U. S. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and their congressional representatives to talk about this issue.

Supporters of the cuts argue that unless programs like Medicare and Medicaid are limited, they will devour greater portions of the federal budget, threatening its overall solvency.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats plan to introduce another bill next week that would delay the effective date for more than 30 day. A previous Senate bill is allowed for the possibility of a 7-month delay.

It is anticipated that whatever solution comes outs, it would be retroactive to March 1. That way, CMS carriers would pay March claims that were put on hold at the current rate, although physicians would receive their money later than usual.

The CMS officials are struggling to do everything in their authority to minimize payment disruption to providers and prevent access problems for patients.

Now it is yet to be seen if Congress postpones the pay cut next month. If it does, it will be the second time in the last 3 months that lawmakers have done so.

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