Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama announced an agreement that will keep the federal government operating through the first quarter of 2013, but the agreement does not include adjusting or repealing the sustainable growth-rate Medicare payment formula—which a new Congressional Budget Office analysis says will require a 27% cut in physician payments next year.
Estimates of the SGR-driven Medicare payment cut have gone as high as 30%, and the CBO report analyzes several short-term options with price tags of $15.3 billion to $376.6 billion in additional spending between 2013 and 2022.
According to a news release from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the federal budget agreement calls for a continuing resolution that will provide about $1.05 trillion to fund government operations for six months. Reid's office told Modern Healthcare that the SGR—as well as Medicare hospital supplemental payment extensions—are not included in the continuing resolution.
A release from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) noted that the resolution hasn't been completed yet, but the plan is to work on it through August and to present the president with a finished bill that he will sign in September.