Medicare: Clock still ticking on physician payment cuts

May 2, 2008

With a 10 percent reduction in Medicare payments scheduled to take effect on July 1, the Senate Finance Committee is hoping to craft a streamlined bill by early next month that would reverse the projected cuts and give doctors a raise of as much as 1.7 percent for 18 months.

With a 10 percent reduction in Medicare payments scheduled to take effect on July 1, the Senate Finance Committee is hoping to craft a streamlined bill by early next month that would reverse the projected cuts and give doctors a raise of as much as 1.7 percent for 18 months, reports Modern Physician. Funding for any increase, however, is likely to be a challenge and could ultimately cause more harm than good: A 1 percent boost in 2009 would cost the government $8.4 billion, and may precipitate a whopping 21 percent cut in 2010, according to the Congressional Budget Office.