KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Scheduled Medicare Doctor Pay Cut Could Be Just A Few Weeks Away

Medscape and The Connecticut Mirror covered the looming 26.5 percent cut, mandated by the SGR law.

Medscape: Scrapping Consultations Blew Medicare Budget
Next year primary care physicians will receive a Medicare pay hike, assuming that Congress postpones a scheduled 26.5% cut mandated by the program's sustainable growth rate formula. Instead of further bloating the budget deficit, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will fund the pay hike by trimming Medicare rates for specialists. The plan is to achieve "budget neutrality," an accounting mantra in a time of fiscal anxiety (Lowes, 11/30).

CT Mirror: Doctors Look To Congress As Medicare Fee Decrease Looms
Unless Congress acts soon, the New Year will bring plenty of misery for Connecticut's doctors. On Dec. 31, a temporary measure known as the "doc fix" will expire, resulting in a 30 percent decrease in fees to all doctors who treat patients through Medicare, the government-run health program for the elderly, and active and retired members of the military who are covered under the government's TRICARE program (Radelat, 11/30).

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