On Thursday the Senate failed to take up legislation (H.R. 6331) that would prevent a 10.6 percent cut to payments to physicians for Medicare Services. The cuts are scheduled to take effect July 1.

According to reports, Senate Republicans blocked efforts by Democrats to call up the bill; the vote was 58 to 40, two votes short of the 60 needed to close debate.

Last week the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6331, the "Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008," on a vote of 355 to 59 – more than the two-thirds majority needed to pass legislation under this expedited procedure.
Lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn today for the Fourth of July holiday; unless HR 6331 is called today, payment cuts will take effect on Tuesday. When lawmakers return after the holiday recess they could increase payments retroactively, though there is no guarantee.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine will notify members via an update to the Web site once the Senate acts on the legislation.