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General Surgery Coding Alert

News brief:

Expect 2-Month Medicare Payment Reprieve

SGR formula fix is key.You won't face a 27 percent Medicare pay cut beginning Jan. 1 after all -- at least not for two months. That's because the rate reduction was once again kicked to the curb by Congress, resulting in a Medicare Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor of $34.0376 through Feb. 29.On Dec. 23, the House followed the Senate's lead in voting to halt the Medicare pay cut for two months, which will freeze Medicare pay at 2011 rates through the end of February.Look for Long Term SolutionsAlthough Medicare pay is now set to drop on March 1, the AMA is hopeful that Congress will find a longer-term solution before then. "With this brief reprieve from the massive 27 percent cut to Medicare payments, Congress now has to enact a real and fiscally responsible solution to this sorry cycle of scheduled cuts and short-term patches that compromises access to care [...]

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