President Approves Postponing 25% Physician Payment Cuts

​President Barack Obama signed legislation postponing the 25 percent Medicare cuts to physician payments. The cuts were originally supposed to take effect Jan. 1, 2011, but under the new legislation the cuts won’t happen until Dec.31, 2011.

With the projected 2011 Medicare payments, ASCs will see an increase in physician office rates for several hundred procedures, and ASC rates for non-office-based procedures will not be affected.

For a list of the ASC procedures affected and additional information on ASCs’ 2011 Medicare payment rates, go to www.ascassociation.org/medicare2011.

The original 25 percent cut in physician payments was part of Medicare’s physician reimbursement formula adopted in 1998, which was based on a cost-containment measure known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). Since that formula’s adoption, physicians and others have repeatedly asked Congress to consider a permanent repeal of the payment formula. Obama, too, has urged Congress to find a permanent solution to the growing concerns associated with the SGR situation.

AmSurg will continue to support efforts for a suitable fix so that physicians and ASCs can continue to receive adequate reimbursement for the patient care they provide.