Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

The Senate Wednesday passed a pivotal bill that would extend for six months the temporary increase in states Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). It also would extend the Medicare Part B therapy caps exceptions process through Dec. 31, and delay a 21% Medicare payment cut for physicians until Oct. 1.

The American Health Care Association praised passage of the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213). The bill now goes to the House for a vote.

“As seniors across the U.S. are being subjected to hurtful state Medicaid cuts and other negative care variables associated with the ongoing national recession, passage of the therapy cap extension provision and enhanced FMAP funding are two key AHCA legislative priorities that have just moved closer to being achieved, and we thank the U.S. Senate for advancing the ball down the field,” Bruce Yarwood, president and CEO of the association, said in a statement.

The increase in the FMAP now could continue through June 30, 2011.