'Doc Fix' Provides More Questions than Answers

Jeff Elliott, for HealthLeaders Media, December 17, 2010

With a stroke of a pen, President Obama Wednesday signed the so-called 'Doc Fix' bill. The law delays by one year implementation of the sustainable growth rate formula, which sets the rates of Medicare reimbursements to physicians.

Healthcare groups have publicly applauded the postponement, saying that it is vital to ensuring the availability of healthcare coverage for seniors.

Privately, however, many remain frustrated that a permanent solution to the Sustainable Growth Rate formula for Medicare funding, which has called for cuts in Medicare reimbursement over the past decade (including a 25% reduction in Medicare reimbursements that would have taken effect  Jan. 1, 2011), remains so elusive.

Among others, President Obama recognizes the need for this issue to be dealt with once and for all. “It's time for a permanent solution that seniors and their doctors can depend on, and I look forward to working with Congress to address this matter once and for all in the coming year,” he said last week after the U. S. House voted overwhelmingly to delay the cuts.

For its part, Congress voted in favor of delaying the nearly $20 billion in reductions to physician pay five times this year alone. 

Margaret Dick Tocknell Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon