Doctors wait patiently for Congress to act on 'doc fix'

Following the Senate’s lead, the U.S. House Wednesday voted to extend current Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians through the end of the year. Other items, including legislation affecting the long-term care community, are on Congress’s to-do list during this lame-duck session.

Providers are hoping Congress will pass legislation repealing the delay of RUG-IV classification system by the end of the year. The healthcare reform law delayed the start of RUG-IV until Oct. 1, 2011. They also are pushing for Congress to extend the therapy caps exceptions process, which is set to expire on Dec. 31.

The doc-fix legislation was sent to President Obama, who was expected to sign the bill. Congressional intervention prevented what would have been a 23% cut in Medicare physician reimbursement payments this Wednesday.