According to a recent article from Kaiser Health News, new figures released by the Congressional Budget Office include the imposition of steep Medicare cuts for physicians. The CBO’s new baseline projections of the federal budget estimate that cumulative deficits will reach $3.5 trillion between 2012 and 2021 — a much shallower budget hole than the $6.7 trillion CBO projected in March.

But that estimate – provided by the agency so that Congressional budget planners can work from a common set of numbers — assumes that sharp reductions in Medicare physician payment rates will go into place at the end of this year, since it is prescribed by current law. Assuming Capitol Hill follows the past practice of stopping those scheduled cuts, this fall lawmakers will be scrambling to find billions of dollars for another “doc fix.” 

The AASM will continue to monitor this issue and provide relevant updates to members.