Doc Fix

Sleeper measures could cut Medicare payments to skilled care operators

Sleeper measures could cut Medicare payments to skilled care operators

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As far as skilled care is concerned, most recent reporting on a major Medicare bill has all but overlooked what's in the bill for the sector. And it's not trivial.

Bill affecting skilled nursing facility payments, ICD-10 deadline passes House in controversial vote

Bill affecting skilled nursing facility payments, ICD-10 deadline passes House in controversial vote

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A bill linking skilled nursing facilities' Medicare payments to hospital readmissions passed the House of Representatives Thursday, through a voting method that provoked outrage from some legislators. The measure also would extend the ICD-10 transition period and prevent a looming physician pay cut.

Congress passes a bill to extend Medicare cuts an additional year

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

Docs might get a raise, and long-term care might get a bill

Docs might get a raise, and long-term care might get a bill

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Major League teams don't celebrate World Series victories midway through the season. But politicians do the equivalent all the time. Consider a revised Medicare payment plan that was joyously unveiled on Thursday.

Pay cuts could wipe out labs, hurt nursing homes

Pay cuts could wipe out labs, hurt nursing homes

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When it comes to worries about how Medicare doctors will be paid, nursing home operators have thought they should stand at the front of a long and anxious line. Truth be told, they have some stiff competition for the "most nervous" title.

LTC to be a victim of the latest 'doc fix' proposal?

LTC to be a victim of the latest 'doc fix' proposal?

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Now, even three or four years down the road, the impression of the long-term care leader cowering like a guilty child is haunting.

Bill repealing Sustainable Growth Rate passes House committee

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A bill that would repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate and effectively end the need for the "doc fix," passed a house committee on Wednesday. The Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act passed the Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously and will now move to the full chamber.

'Doc fix' bill calls attention to need for therapy fix, NASL leader says

'Doc fix' bill calls attention to need for therapy fix, NASL leader says

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Provider groups are urging lawmakers to address outpatient therapy payments in addition to fixes to Medicare's physician payment system, according to Cynthia Morton, executive vice president of the National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care.

Medicare 'doc fix' clears hurdle in the House, but providers still have questions

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A House of Representatives subcommittee has approved legislation reforming physician payments through Medicare. The bill passed out of the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health by voice vote on Tuesday, after a two-day markup.

Long-term care wants its own 'fix' if docs get one

Long-term care wants its own 'fix' if docs get one

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If you hang around long enough, you learn there are only two things long-term care providers fear after Republicans and Democrats. That would be hospitals and doctors.

Freeze nursing home doctor pay for 10 years, replace Sustainable Growth Rate system, Senate Finance Committee told

Freeze nursing home doctor pay for 10 years, replace Sustainable Growth Rate system, Senate Finance Committee told

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Medicare rates for physician visits to nursing homes should be frozen for 10 years as the government replaces the Sustainable Growth Rate system, a Medicare Payment Advisory Commission official advised the Senate Finance Committee.

Long-term care providers ready to deal with 'doc fix'

Long-term care providers ready to deal with 'doc fix'

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If you hang around long enough, you learn there are only two things long-term care providers fear after Republicans and Democrats. That would be hospitals and doctors.

Senators invite provider input on Medicare 'doc fix'

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The leaders of the Senate Finance Committee have called for healthcare providers to weigh in on possible changes to the Medicare physician payment system.

Best is yet to come? Don't tell that to providers

Best is yet to come? Don't tell that to providers

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When he gave his acceptance speech Tuesday night, President Obama told the nation that "the best is yet to come." Many long-term care operators may not be in full agreement.

HHS issues yet another rule calling for 26.5% physician pay cut

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The Department of Health and Human Services released new rule proposals Thursday, including one that calls for a 26.5% statutorily required pay cut for Medicare physicians in 2013

CBO: Federal health spending to slow over next decade

CBO: Federal health spending to slow over next decade

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Government outlays for Medicare will add up to 3.7% of the gross domestic product in 2013, rising only to 4.3% of the GDP by 2022, the CBO predicts.

Congressman proposes 'doc fix' extension

Congressman proposes 'doc fix' extension

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A newly proposed bill in the U.S. House would extend Medicare physician payment rates for one year while legislators work to devise a more manageable alternative to the existing formula.

Extreme disruption of Medicare funding forecast if Affordable Care Act is tossed out

Extreme disruption of Medicare funding forecast if Affordable Care Act is tossed out

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Healthcare experts on both sides of the political spectrum are warning that the Medicare program could unravel if the Supreme Court deems the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. Nursing homes, and others might not get paid, at least one expert says.

'Doc fix' might hurt a little

'Doc fix' might hurt a little

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President Obama has signed legislation that delays a pay cut for doctors treating Medicare patients. That comes as good news for physicians, but not so much for nursing facilities.

'Doc fix' moves on to White House

'Doc fix' moves on to White House

A bill that contains legislation cancelling a scheduled Medicare reimbursement cut to physicians has passed the House and Senate.

GOP senators float 'premium support' Medicare overhaul

GOP senators float 'premium support' Medicare overhaul

A new Medicare overhaul proposed by two Republican senators on Thursday would save an estimated $200 billion to $500 billion over 10 years by way of "premium support."

Congress returns to full action; focus turns back to therapy cap process, docs and State of the Union

The U.S. Senate ends its recess Monday, six days after the House reconvened. That sets the stage for more intense lobbying over healthcare spending and other measures, including the Medicare Part B therapy caps exceptions process and how to fund Medicare doctors. Both were part of a two-month reprieve Congress approved shortly before Christmas. Long-term care providers and numerous other special interest groups will continue their blitz of lawmakers and their staff members in attempts to curry favor for what should be a much longer legislative solution this time. Also on tap: Watching intently Tuesday to see whether long-term care is mentioned in President Obama's State of the Union address.

Congress votes to prevent whopping physician pay cut

Congress votes to prevent whopping physician pay cut

The House and Senate voted Friday morning to pass a two-month extension of the so-called "doc fix," preventing a scheduled 27.4% cut in Medicare payments for physicians.

Physician pay cut uncertainty could crash Medicare computer system, official warns

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has warned that its computer systems could crash due to a backlog of claims unless Congress acts to prevent a scheduled 27.4% physician pay cut.

New 'doc fix' solution could be on the way following House vote on payroll tax cut bill

New 'doc fix' solution could be on the way following House vote on payroll tax cut bill

Amidst a wave of criticism from provider groups and patient advocates after the vote, Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and Michael Burgess (R-TN) indicated they are in favor of developing a stand-alone "doc fix" bill in a separate conference committee. Both men are physicians.

CMS instructs contractors to hold physician payment claims as House votes down payroll tax cut bill

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has instructed claims contractors to withhold physician payment claims for the first 10 days of 2012, citing Congress' inability to address the "doc fix."

Providers tense, as House leaders vow to vote around Senate-approved measure with 'doc fix' and therapy cap extender bills

Providers tense, as House leaders vow to vote around Senate-approved measure with 'doc fix' and therapy cap extender bills

Provider groups were anxiously awaiting a vote that is expected to be held Tuesday in the U.S. House of Representatives. The balloting could determine the short-term fate of Medicare spending for the "doc fix" and an extension to the therapy caps exception process.

GOP bill discounting Medicare bad debt ignites skilled nursing backlash

GOP bill discounting Medicare bad debt ignites skilled nursing backlash

Advocates for skilled nursing operators started a counteroffensive Monday in Washington to fight bad-debt provisions of a new House GOP spending bill. Introduced Friday, the bill asks skilled nursing operators to absorb more than $4.5 billion of $10 billion in bad debt losses.

GOP bill would extend Medicare therapy caps exceptions process, delay physician pay cut for two years

GOP bill would extend Medicare therapy caps exceptions process, delay physician pay cut for two years

House Republicans introduced legislation Friday that would extend the outpatient therapy caps exception process. Without Congressional action, the caps would go back into full effect Jan. 1. The proposed legislation also would postpone huge Medicare doctor pay cuts by two years through a package that would scuttle parts of the healthcare reform law.

President's budget proposal cuts Medicaid payments to providers by $28.8 billion over 10 years

President's budget proposal cuts Medicaid payments to providers by $28.8 billion over 10 years

President Obama released his $3.7 trillion budget for FY 2012 Monday, and it would lower Medicaid payments to healthcare providers by $28.8 billion over 10 years.

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