After years of temporary solutions, Congress may have found a solution to the perennial problem of looming Medicare physician-payment cuts in 2013. Finding nearly $300 billion to pay for a fix has proven too difficult an issue for lawmakers to tackle in the past. Instead, Congress has routinely passed temporary patches that delay the reduction for anywhere from a few years to just 30 days. But the on-going fiscal-cliff negotiations represent a rare opportunity to solve this expensive headache, say staffers and others close to the issue. The price tag for a permanent fix is big, but it may look smaller in the context of a big tax and entitlement deal. No fix? Then on Jan. 1 doctors will be reimbursed 27% less then current Medicare rates.
30 Nov 2012