Noteworthy News

In Search of a Permanent Medicare Doc Fix

With the most recent Medicare doc fix set to expire at the end of the year, lawmakers again are looking for a permanent cure for what has become a chronic condition.

The sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula adopted in 1997 has continually called for reductions in Medicare payments to physicians, which in turn has led to fears that reducing those payments will jeopardize seniors’ access to care.  As a result, Congress has repeatedly overridden the formula-driven payment cuts, pumping new money into Medicare to prevent the cuts and to increase those payments in some years.

Now, with payments again scheduled to fall 30 percent on January 1, 2013, Congress is considering a number of possible approaches to a permanent solution to this long-running problem.  Read about those possibilities in thisCongress Chamber Congressional Quarterly report presented by the Commonwealth Fund.

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