Legislation to Provide One Year Extension for Medicare Physician Payment Rates

Faced with a proposed 27 percent cut to Medicare fee-for-service rates come Jan. 1, per the 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule, physicians have been waiting for a sign indicating Congress will override the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) methodology that calls for the cut, as they have since 2003. Rep. Michael Burgess, MD, (R-TX), introduced the Assuring Medicare Stability and Access for Seniors Act of 2012 on July 18. This bill would amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to extend Medicare physician payment rates for one year. The update to the single conversion factor would again be zero percent. Burgess goes on to say that Congress is making progress on crafting a permanent replacement for the SGR.

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