Obama Signs ‘Doc Fix’ Bill

HealthLeadersMedia | December 16 – President Obama Wednesday signed a bill that delays a dreaded 25% pay cut for physicians who treat Medicare and military patients, legislation that medical groups said was sorely needed to maintain access to quality care for seniors.

“Without the action the President took today, doctors who see Medicare patients and families enrolled in TRICARE would have seen their payments slashed by 23 percent, Nancy deParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, wrote on the White House Blog. Another 1.9% cut was set to take effect Jan. 1.

“The pay cut wouldn’t have just hurt doctors—seniors and families across America would have suffered as well. Many doctors would have simply stopped seeing Medicare patients and military families if this pay cut took effect, effectively denying patients the chance to see the doctor they know and trust.”

The bill, officially called the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010, postpones the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which sets the rates by which Medicare and TRICARE doctors are paid.

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