Congress delays 10.1% fee cut until July

January 9, 2008

Washington, DC-In the final days of its 2007 session, Congress passed a temporary fix to delay a scheduled 10.1% Medicare fee cut to physicians for 6 months and provided physicians with a positive 0.5% update.

Washington, DC-In the final days of its 2007 session, Congress passed a temporary fix to delay a scheduled 10.1% Medicare fee cut to physicians for 6 months and provided physicians with a positive 0.5% update.

“We are gratified that Congress acted in time to halt the cut. However, we are deeply disappointed that the fix is only temporary, adding to the uncertainty among physicians and Medicare patients,” said H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, executive vice president, American Academy of Ophthalmology. “We will continue to work to convince Congress on the need for stability and a multi-year solution to this ongoing issue.”

Congressional action at the end of 2007 also included passage of an extension of the expiring incentive payments for rural physicians, including the floor on work geographic adjustment of 1.0 through June 30, and an extension of the bonus for physician quality reporting. In 2008, physicians who voluntary report on quality measures will be eligible for at least a 1.5% bonus on their entire year’s Medicare revenues, the AAO pointed out.