Late Thursday the Senate voted to postpone a massive cut in payments to physicians for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries, agreeing to maintain the conversion factor at its current level through Dec. 31.

The House of Representatives has adjourned for the Thanksgiving holiday and did not vote on the measure. The House of Representatives resumes its session November 30. If the House passes this measure, Congress will stave off the projected cuts scheduled to take effect Dec. 1.

The cost of the one-month postponement, $1 billion over 10 years, will be paid for using the Medicare savings from a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) policy that reduces reimbursement for outpatient therapy services provided to patients in one day.

The Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and its Ranking Member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa pledged to work toward a mutually acceptable 12-month postponement to proposed cuts that could pass before the end of this year.

The AASM’s Member Action Network has customizable resources you can use to contact your Representative and urge them to take action when their session returns on November 30. The AASM will keep members informed of additional information as it becomes available.     

View the Physician Payment and Therapy Relief Act of 2010