Lawmakers Deadlock on Doc-Fix

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Congressional lawmakers are reportedly at an impasse over how to pay for a one-year Medicare “doc-fix” along with extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

A proposal by the American Medical Association to use war savings to pay for a freeze on physician payments under Medicare has reportedly died, according to Politico.com.

The list of offsets to pay for the $160 billion package under consideration Tuesday included requiring wealthy Americans to pay more for Medicare as well as retroactively capturing at least three years worth of overpayments to hospitals, which the American Hospital Association opposes.

According to several reports, both parties are committed to freezing physician pay under Medicare until December. The only question is how to pay for it. Without an agreement physicians stand to lose an average 27.4% in reimbursement based on the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.