News Local/State

Congress Passes Bill To Stop Payment Cuts To Medicare Doctors


For the 17th time, Congress has passed legislation to a very a deep pay cut to doctors who see Medicare patients.

As NPR's Julie Rovner reports, this is a one-year delay that doesn't deal with the problem permanently. Julie filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Without Congressional action, a 24 percent cut would have taken effect starting today, due to what almost everyone agrees is a flawed payment formula. Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate have actually agreed on legislation to fix that flawed formula permanently, but they haven't been able to agree on a way to underwrite the 10 year, $180 billion cost.

"So lawmakers once again turned to the temporary delay, which has physician groups furious. The bill also includes several other health policy changes, including a one year delay of a complicated new coding system for doctors and hospitals."

The bill now goes to President Obama for a signature.