The 21.2 percent cut in Medicare and TRICARE fees paid to providers went into effect after the Senate failed to take action. President Obama has directed Medicare billing contractors to hold off processing claims for 10 days, hoping that the Senate will act soon to place a hold on these reductions. If passed the delay would allow billings at the earlier fee level.
Originally intended to hold down the costs of Medicare, Congress has postponed the cuts each year until it has accumulated to the current 21.2 percent level. In 2006, Congress was not quick enough and legislation was delayed so that claims for that year had to be reprocessed to be reimbursed at 2005 rates. In 2006 the cut would have been only 4.4 percent, and has continued to grow ever since. You can write your Senator at www.roa.org/write2congress.
TRICARE fees are included as health care providers are paid off the Medicare fee schedule.