Bindman AB. Warning: Dangerous Physician Payment Cliffs Ahead. JAMA Forum Archive. Published online January 10, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2013.0001
It was touch and go, but the new year has provided physicians with some positive news about reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid. As a part of the legislation intended to prevent the United States from going over the “fiscal cliff,” Congress included a “doc fix” provision to temporarily prevent Medicare physician payments from being cut by an anticipated 26.5%.
Congress authorized $25.2 billion in new spending for physicians providing care for patients who are covered by Medicare; this funding overrides the payment cut that would have been implemented on January 1 in accordance with Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. When Congress originally passed the SGR formula (which requires cuts to physician fees when growth in physician spending exceeds a benchmark growth rate in the economy) in 1997, it was envisioned as a way to control Medicare spending. But in every year except 2002, Congress has voted to override the requirements of the law to prevent decreases in Medicare reimbursement.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Andrew B. Bindman, MD Andrew B. Bindman, MD, is Professor of Medicine, Health Policy, Epidemiology and Biostatistics and a core faculty member within the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr Bindman has...