Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gingrey Announces Temporary Halt to Medicare Reimbursement Cuts

U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey, MD (R-GA) is pleased to announce that despite the Senate's failure to pass House-approved legislation to prevent a 10.6% cut to physicians' Medicare reimbursement, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will effectively delay the scheduled cuts until at least July 15th—giving Congress time to address these cuts after the July 4th recess.

"This was an extraordinary but much-needed step to ensure that there is no disruption in the delivery and payment of physician services to Medicare patients,” said Gingrey. “Many refer to preventing these cuts as a ‘Doc Fix,’ but the reality is that if these cuts are not stopped, Medicare patients will be hurt the worst because they won't be able to find doctors who can afford to treat them. Congress had an obligation to fix this problem before leaving town for a weeklong recess, but they did not. Now, the Administration has given doctors and patients a reprieve from Congress’s failure to act. I hope that the Democratic Leadership will make the most of this opportunity they've been given and will work with Republicans to pass a Medicare reimbursement bill that will serve both our patients and our physicians."

Earlier this week, Congressman Gingrey voted for a bill to prevent the automatic 10.6% cut to physician reimbursement which passed the House. Though the legislation failed in the Senate, the Democratic leadership chose to adjourn the House of Representatives for the Fourth of July recess with no announced plans to reconvene. In response to inaction by Congress, CMS announced it will instruct contractors to not process any physician and non-physician practitioner claims for the first 10 business days of July, in accordance with existing law. This delay should give Congress additional time to enact legislation to prevent these cuts on a more permanent basis.

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