Medicare Cut Decision Put on Hold

Just before going on holiday recess, Congress voted to delay the Medicare payment cut, which was scheduled to go in effect Jan. 1, for two months. Congress will resume discussion on the cut when it is back in session.

The dreaded Medicare payment cut won’t be taking place on Jan. 1. However, that’s a short-lived victory for physicians because the cut has only been temporarily put off by Congress.

But that doesn’t mean physicians can relax just yet. The issue of the Medicare payment cut is still linked with the tax bill, which is also being delayed for two months. So the cut hasn’t been averted, so much as the discussion has been put on hold temporarily.

Congress isn't expected to be back in session until late January. As of now, the House is scheduled to return on Jan. 17 and the Senate won't reconvene until Jan. 23.

Congress, which went on its holiday recess Dec. 23, voted with no debate to delay the 27.4% payment cut for two months. Originally the House called to delay the cut for two years, but the Senate responded with a two-month compromise.