IBJNews

Doctors breathe a sigh of relief

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

All settled—until November.

What looked like an impasse in Congress over the latest delay to physician fee cuts dissipated last week as the House of Representatives approved a six-month respite to the cuts.

The delay also gives doctors a 2.2-percent increase, on average, for the next six months.

But with Medicare, the largest chunk of revenue for many doctors, they’ll nervously wait to see what happens at the end of November.

If Congress had not acted, physicians would have sustained a 21.3-percent reduction to the payments they receive from Medicare, the government-run health benefits plan for seniors.

Some Indiana doctors said last week they would stop accepting Medicare patients right away if the cuts were not halted.

The cut was supposed to go into effect on June 1, but the agency that administers Medicare had not processed claims as it waited for Congress to act. The agency gave up waiting on June 21, the same day the Senate passed a new six-month delay.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looked like she might not advance the bill through the House because she wanted to pair it with other relief for jobless workers. After a week of feuding, the House passed the Senate’s extension on Thursday night by a vote of 417-1.

The Medicare agency will now reprocess the bills it had paid at the reduced rates to give doctors more money for their services.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Medicare payment problem still an issue
    Congress delayed the Medicare physician payment cut for six months, but the Medicare payment problem still exists, and a 23 percent cut looms for December. The six month fix doesnâ??t solve the Medicare mess Congress has created with a long series of short-term Medicare patches over the last decade â?? including four to avert the 2010 cut alone. Already, one in four Medicare patients looking for a new primary care physician are having trouble finding one. About one in five physicians are already limiting the number of Medicare patients they treat because of the instability and uncertainty of Medicare payment.
    The baby boomers begin entering Medicare in six months, and if the physician payment problem isnâ??t fixed, these new Medicare patients wonâ??t be able to find a doctor to treat them either. Congress must replace the broken Medicare system to preserve health care for seniors and baby boomers.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

ADVERTISEMENT