A bill to delay a nearly 30% cut in Medicare physician pay rates is expected to pass the House of Representatives in June, according to a Republican healthcare leader.
House likely to pass Medicare pay-cut delay
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), vice chairman of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, said in an interview Monday that the House Republican leadership aims to begin consideration of an as-yet unintroduced Medicare physician pay bill next month. The leadership's goal is to pass the bill in June and give the Senate months to act before the current one-year freeze of a 29.5% physician pay cut expires Jan. 1.
The House measure would not permanently replace the Medicare physician payment system, based around the sustainable growth rate formula, but would freeze the current rates for several years while Congress negotiated a permanent fix, he said.
Such a permanent fix proposal is expected from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission in October, but Burgess said Congress would need more than a few months to reach agreement on a permanent fix.
“If you wait until October to act then there won't be enough time,” he said.
Even a temporary extension of the freeze is expected to face an intense partisan battle because of several issues involved, including the manner used to pay for it.
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