Time’s running out on SGR fix

By Mary Ann Porucznik

As this issue of AAOS Now goes to press, the “lame-duck” Congress seems set to approve another short-term fix for physician payments under the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for Medicare.

On Nov. 18, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a 1-month extension of the current patch, retaining the 2.2 percent update in physician payments through the end of the year. Because the House had already recessed for the Thanksgiving holiday, a vote on the “Physician Payment and Therapy Relief Act of 2010” could not be scheduled until Nov. 29 or 30. Without House action, a 23 percent cut in Medicare payments would go into effect on Dec. 1.

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