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Why the “Doc Fix” Problem in Medicare Isn’t Going Away Any Time Soon

While Congress has refused to outright repeal mandated cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, it still postpones them every few months. The latest such “doc fix,” which passed the Senate last week, heads off a 23 percent drop in payments — but only until Dec. 31. Unfortunately, the alternative to this charade is going to be ugly, and nobody wants to face that yet.

The $1 billion cost of the one-month reprieve will be paid for by reducing the amount Medicare pays for physical therapy services.