The unending problem of reduced Medicare payments to radiologists continues. This weekend, the Senate passed a 6-month fix that would have averted a 21% pay cut to physicians. However, the House has thus far refused to take up the bill passed in the Senate. Having waited for weeks in hopes of a stay, CMS, is now enforcing a 21 percent cut in physician payments, and an estimated 50 million claims, held back since June 1, will be the first affected. Even if the claims are eventually reprocessed, radiologists will face short term cash flow issues and it will cost taxpayers millions of dollars for CMS to reprocess the claims.
Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, and House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, don’t agree on the legislation and are holding up the temporary fix to reimbursement rates. Pelosi was reportedly caught off guard last week when Reid opted to pull the Medicare issue out of a jobs and economic relief bill on which the two leaders have been working for months. Pelosi has not yet committed to taking up the Senate’s Medicare fix.
The move by the California Democrat appears aimed at pressuring the Senate to break a logjam on legislation to extend unemployment benefits and would give money to states to help them avoid additional layoffs and furloughs. That bill is stuck on the Senate floor because of a GOP filibuster.
ADVOCATE will continue to provide updates as they become available.
With best regards,
Kirk Reinitz, CPA