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CMS Tells Contractors to Delay Doc Payments for 10 Days Again

John Commins and Joe Cantlupe, March 31, 2010

AMA President J. James Rohack, MD, said last week, "It is unconscionable for elected officials to play politics with seniors and military families who rely on them to preserve their ability to see the physician of their choice."

"Members of Congress eager to spend a two-week holiday with their families have left America's military families and seniors to fend for themselves through their inaction on a known threat to the Medicare and TRICARE programs," Rohack stated.

The physician pay cut issue has been dependent continually on congressional action, much to the consternation of physicians. On Dec. 19, Congress voted to delay the scheduled payment cut until March 1. Both houses then extended it a month.

Specifically, the Medicare payments were scheduled to be cut across the board in accordance with the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.

The proposed delay ostensibly is to give Congress time to adjust the SGR formula. SGR links Part B Medicare reimbursement to the gross domestic product. The formula has led to proposed large cuts annually, which physicians have successfully worked to delay.

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