On July 18, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) introduced legislation to extend Medicare physician payment rates for one year. The bill, called the Assuring Medicare Stability and Access for Seniors Act of 2012, addresses projected cuts to overall payment described in the CY 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. The proposed rule, published earlier this month, includes an almost 30% cut to the conversion factor, which is used to establish payment rates for all physician services under Medicare. Mr. Burgess’s bill includes language about calculation of the conversion factor for 2013 recommending “the update to the single conversion factor shall be zero percent.”
In a July 20 statement regarding the bill, Burgess indicated: “While this legislation will provide a one-year extension, Congress must continue to work towards a permanent fix that will solve the issue once and for all, and this bill provides that time.” The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives for review.