by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Bulletin Volume 15, Number 1
Late New Year’s Day, the U.S. House of Representatives followed the Senate’s lead and voted to approve the American Taxpayer Relief Act, averting the so called fiscal cliff. Included in the legislation is a provision to stop a scheduled 26.5% payment cut in Medicare physician payments. However, the doc fix, as it is referred to, will expire at the end of 2013. The reduction for doctors comes from a payment formula in a 1997 deficit reduction law which provided doctors with modest pay increases in the early years, but which resulted in huge cuts in subsequent years. Congress has staved off the scheduled cuts with short term fixes for several years, but physicians’ groups, including ASRM, have been seeking a permanent solution to the formula.
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