On Dec. 18, the Senate agreed to a three-month “bridge” which delays the 24 percent impending physician rate cut under the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, planned to take effect Jan. 1. The House had previously passed the legislation, which now awaits President Obama’s signature. The AMA expects the measure to be signed into law by Dec. 20.
The action will give physicians a 0.5 percent increase for the next three months, which will be the first positive update Medicare physicians have seen since 2010. After the holiday recess, Congress will begin figuring out how to fully repeal the SGR before the bridge legislation runs out at the end of March.