Under the amendment, HHS would adjust the practice-expense formula for 2010 and 2011 to better reflect the salaries and rents paid in rural communities.
The issue resonated with many on the committee because of their rural ties. But even senators from more populous states, such as Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), voted to approve the measure because some areas in New York could benefit.
“Physicians in Iowa provide some of the highest quality of care and get some of the lowest reimbursement,” Grassley said.
Members of the committee worked over the weekend and through Monday to find a fix that would benefit rural areas without hurting payments in more populated communities.
“This is a deeply felt problem in my state and in other very rural states,” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said. “We believe the formulas have been unfair to us, and I think it's clear they have been.”
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