Today the House of Representatives voted 245 to 171 to approve a $23 billion plan to postpone until 2012 the Medicare physician payment cut, The Washington Post reports. The provisions in the revised extenders package (H.R. 4213) include a 2.2-percent Medicare physician payment update for the remainder of 2010, a one-percent update for 2011, and a return to the current sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula in 2012.

Because the Senate has adjourned until June 7 for a holiday recess, the scheduled 21-percent Medicare physician payment cut will again take effect for services provided on and after June 1. As the AASM reported yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has instructed its contractors to hold claims for services paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (including anesthesia services) for the first 10 business days of June. If Congress acts and the President signs the legislation before the 10-business day timeframe, then the cut will again be postponed.