Congress Halts Select Medicare Payment Cuts; DCs Will Experience Small Reductions

(Arlington, Va.) -- Congress, in one of its final acts of the session, passed legislation that temporarily halts a 10 percent across-the-board cut to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS). Instead, the bill will provide for a slight overall increase of 0.5 percent.

Doctors of chiropractic had been facing a 12 percent overall cut to the MPFS, caused by revised practice expense relative value units. However, because of the action taken by Congress, the final result will be a 1.5 percent reduction to chiropractic services reimbursed by Medicare. Changes to the fee schedule take effect Jan. 1, 2008. However, the legislation passed by Congress is just a six-month reprieve from the reimbursement cut, which leaves the outlook beyond the next six months highly uncertain. "The ACA is pleased that Congress has at least temporarily halted this portion of the upcoming cuts in physician Medicare payments," said ACA President Dr. Glenn Manceaux. "We will, however, continue to lobby on behalf of our members for fair reimbursement for doctors of chiropractic under Medicare. Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services must find a permanent solution to the problems with the physician fee schedule, because ultimately, those most affected by this annual dilemma are our patients." ACA urges doctors of chiropractic to contact their legislators in Washington and demand that the scheme that currently determines provider reimbursement formulas be shelved. Please visit the ACA Legislative Action Center to make your voice heard. For the most up-to-date information on Medicare reimbursement, please call or visit your local Medicare carrier’s Web site. To find fee schedule information specific to your carrier and geographic location, please visit the Fee Schedules portion of the ACA Web site.

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