March 21, 2012
On February 16, the bipartisan House-Senate conference committee reached an agreement to extend the payroll tax holiday, unemployment insurance benefits, and current Medicare physician payment rates for the next ten months. Medicare physician payments will remain at the current levels through the end of the year. The extension for increased reimbursement for DXA scans was not included in the final package. Reimbursements will fall to $56 on March 1.
The package is expected to pass both chambers prior to their adjournment for the weeklong President's Day recess.
The ACR does not support short term patches as they increase uncertainty among physicians and patients and the cost of a permanent fix. The ACR will continue to work with the AMA, state and specialty medical societies and lawmakers to identify a viable solution to repeal the SGR and move past the current physician payment system.