House, Senate could put end to 2007 physician payments cuts

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Members of the House and Senate this week have worked out legislation that would drop the called-for 5.1 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements for physicians. The cut has been planned for a Jan. 1 start date. There have been various proposals floating around Congress this week to try to compensate for a possible reversal of the payment cuts, one a possible doubling of the cuts in 2008 to make up for the loss in revenue next year.

Meanwhile, other legislation was introduced this week — from Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) — that would see physicians who partake in a quality reporting system receiving a 1.5 percent incentive payments for certain services.

A vote on this legislation by both the House and Senate is expected by today.