Senate Doc Fix Vote Expected Monday

John Commins, March 31, 2014

A bill that delays Medicare payment cuts to physicians for another year contains two controversial and costly provisions that would delay both the implementation of the ICD-10 medical coding set and the so-called two-midnights rule.

The Senate Monday is expected today to take up a bill that would delay by one year a 24% cut in Medicare reimbursements for physicians mandated that otherwise takes effect on April 1 under the Sustainable Growth Rate funding formula.

The 121-page Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (H.R.4302) was rushed through the House in 25 seconds Thursday with no debate on an unrecorded voice vote, despite the strong objections of the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, and other leading physicians' associations, which have been calling for a permanent fix.

House SGR Patch Bill Puts ICD-10, Two-Midnights Rule on Hold

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told The Hill that he would bring the bill to a vote Monday. "The patch that we have is imperfect, but it is something that will take care of things," Reid said. "I am disappointed we didn't get a permanent fix, but we should be very happy about what we have done."

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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