Great news for seniors and their families! The House of Representatives nearly unanimously approved the proposed yearlong “doc fix” which will delay whopping 23% cut in Medicare fees for physicians that is currently scheduled to go into effect on January 1st. President Obama is almost certain to sign the bill into law, meaning that millions of seniors and their doctors will able continue their healthcare with “business as usual” for one more year.
It’s welcome news for seniors who are already distracted by the confusion of Medicare Open Enrollment Season. A recent AARP poll showing that more than 80% of seniors were concerned about cuts to Medicare doctor pay that are due to go into effect at the end of the year, so the new “doc fix” should relieve some of their anxiety.
The cuts to Medicare payments to doctors were until recently scheduled to go into effect last week, but were delayed by a one month “doc fix” that passed last week. There has been widespread concern that if the Medicare cuts go into effect, Medicare patients will experience a sharp drop in the number of doctors who will be willing to see them and severe shortages in medical treatment.
The yearlong Medicare “doc fix” will be the fifth “doc fix” postponing the Medicare cuts approved this year alone. President Obama has already urged Congress to develop a more permanent fix to the Medicare physician rate formula. “It’s time for a permanent solution that seniors and their doctors can depend on, and I look forward to working with Congress to address this matter once and for all in the coming year,” he said in a statement.
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- Congress Passes the One Month “Doc Fix,” Next Year’s Medicare Payments Still Unknown
- House Approves 6 Month Plan to Avoid Cuts to Medicare Payments