On Tuesday, Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX) reintroduced a package to repeal the flawed sustainable growth rate formula for setting Medicare fees. Known as the “Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act” (MACRA), the bill will come for a vote in the House Thursday morning. While the bill is generally expected to breeze through the House, the Senate vote is less predictable.
A series of posts from The Associated Press highlights the key provisions, pay-fors, and potential roadblocks of the bill:
- Obama Ready to Sign Bill Revamping Medicare Doc Fees
- Seniors Rattled by Endless Risk of Medicare Cuts to Doctors
- Highlights of Bipartisan House Plan on Medicare Doctors Fees
- House Medicare Deal Hits Senate Turbulence over Abortion
As well, on Tuesday, the American Medical Association, along with the Military Officers Association of America and other professional trade organizations, urged members and patients to contact their representatives in Congress to encourage them to vote for MACRA. With votes scheduled for tomorrow in the House and possibly in the Senate, there’s still time to make your voice heard.
To review a copy of the bill yourself, you can download a copy of H.R. 2 MACRA prepared by the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees.
Finally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is preparing for the possibility that a vote will not pass through Congress before the March 31 deadline. CMS issued the following statement today:
“The negative update of 21% under current law for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule is scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2015. Medicare Physician Fee Schedule claims for services rendered on or before March 31, 2015, are unaffected by the payment cut and will be processed and paid under normal procedures and time frames. The Administration urges Congress to take action to ensure these cuts do not take effect. However, until that happens, CMS must take steps to implement the negative update. Under current law, electronic claims are not paid sooner than 14 calendar days (29 days for paper claims) after the date of receipt. CMS will notify you on or before April 11, 2015, with more information about the status of Congressional action to avert the negative update and next steps.”
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