Bill aims to repeal Medicare fee formula

October 22, 2010

A bill was introduced in the Senate to repeal the formula to calculate Medicare physician reimbursement.

A bill was introduced in the Senate to repeal the formula to calculate Medicare physician reimbursement.

Blanche Lincoln, (D-Arkansas), introduced the "Medicare Rural Physician Recruitment and Retention Act of 2010" on October 4 while Congress was in recess. The bill would increase physician residency slots and repeal the Medicare physician Sustainable Growth Rate payment formula. Annual physician updates would be based on "a more accurate measurement of the increased costs of providing care," known as the Medicare Economic Index, according to Lincoln's office. If Congress doesn't act by December, Medicare reimbursements will be cut by 23% from the current rate as of December 1 and by 29.5% on January 1, 2011.

"We are pleased that Senator Lincoln's legislation would fix the broken Medicare physician payment system," says Cecil B. Wilson, MD, president of the American Medical Association.

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