Congress passes a bill to extend Medicare cuts an additional year

Share this article:

The Senate has passed a bill to extend 2% cuts to Medicare reimbursements for an additional year, and the measure is now headed to the White House for President Obama's signature.

The bill (S. 25) restores $6 billion that was cut from military pensions in the bipartisan budget agreement passed in December. To fund these pensions, lawmakers will extend Medicare cuts through 2024 — one year longer than was originally called for under the across-the-board spending reductions known as sequestration.

About $2.4 billion raised through this extension will help offset the cost of any permanent “doc fix” that is passed. The doc fix refers to changing the way physicians are reimbursed by Medicare.

A recent proposal would scrap the current Sustainable Growth Rate system, under which doctors would see a 24% pay cut after March 31. Under the newly proposed system, physicians would have their payments tied to quality measures.

Long-term care providers have called for a permanent repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate. However, they argue that cutting reimbursements to the post-acute sector — which is reportedly under consideration — would not be an appropriate way to offset increased payments to doctors.

Share this article:

More in News

Skilled nursing facility trends contribute to improved Medicare outlook, Congressional report says

The Medicare trust fund is on track to remain solvent until 2030, trustees of the program stated in a Congressional report released Monday. This improved outlook is due in part to revised expectations about the case mix in skilled nursing facilities.

House bill would define, promote coordinated long-term care services

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would target improved care coordination for seniors, also adding it under the Older Americans Act.

Seize the day: Tech Awards deadline is tomorrow

Seize the day: Tech Awards deadline is tomorrow

The final countdown has begun: Long-term care providers have less than 48 hours to enter the third annual McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards. Submissions will be accepted through July 30.