As recess ends, work begins for Senate on Medicare bill

Share this content:
CMS clarifies physician delegation of tasks in skilled nursing facilities
CMS clarifies physician delegation of tasks in skilled nursing facilities
Democratic senators return from their holiday recess this week with a clear objective: to vote on the now-familiar H.R. 6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act.

Before adjourning for its Fourth of July recess last week, the Senate fell short one vote of getting the 60 votes needed to consider the bill. Most Republican senators voted to block the legislation.

As a result of the failed vote, several regulations took effect last Tuesday, July 1, that would have been delayed by the legislation. For example, the exceptions process for Medicare Part B therapy caps expired, ushering in the full therapy caps regulation; and the competitive bidding process for durable medical equipment took effect. A 10.6% Medicare payment cut for physicians was scheduled to kick in, but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services opted to freeze this reduction for 10 days.