Killing physicians' last hope for a Medicare payment relief bill this year, the Senate rejected a House-passed measure that would have given the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services the authority to make changes to the physician payment formula. Revising the formula would result in higher physician payments in 2003 and beyond. The measure was included in a military spending bill passed by the House last night before it adjourned for the year. The Senate, however, passed the military bill without the Medicare provision. In a written statement, the American Medical Association said, "Senate inaction on this issue puts patients in dire jeopardy." -- by Jeff Tieman
Last-ditch effort for Medicare change fails
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