Congress averts fiscal cliff; physician payments stabilized through 2013


After months of watching to see how Congress would navigate the so-called "fiscal cliff," the wait is finally over. After lengthy negotiations, the House on Jan. 1 passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, averting tax increases and spending cuts from simultaneously going into effect. The Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bill earlier in the day in a vote of 89-8. The overall outcome of the package is positive for medicine and includes a one-year patch of the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula used to calculate Medicare physician payment. Provisions to qualify registry programs to meet Physician Quality Reporting System reporting requirements and enhance the quality of data needed for new delivery and payment models were also included in the legislation – both of with the ACC was instrumental in developing in conjunction with other medical associations. Get the details.

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