No this is no April Fools joke...Congress recessed for Easter and once again failed to fix Medicare fees-due to drop nearly 22% in accordance with the SGR formula. Some may remember the recessed before the March 1 deadline, Medicare fees technically dropped for a few days but then when our august congressmen (and the few women) came back, they managed to squeak by a 1 month extension. Their excuse for all this shenanigans was they were too busy with health care reform (why assuring that doctors get paid the already appalling Medicare reimbursements instead of those with a >20% cut was not considered important component of health care legislation...just not clear)!
Fast-forward one month and...now they are too busy with...Easter???? So doctors are back in limbo. Technically, fees have dropped again but we are assured they will once again fix this problem when they return and indeed make the fix retro to april Fools Day. Someone once said:
Fool me once, shame on you
Fool me twice, shame on me
Congress, this is abysmal behavior. As a physician I am appalled; as an American, I am embarrassed. I still say, bring on the cuts-it will make doctor's decision to leave Medicare easier and then all our over 65 citizens will better understand just how critical physicians are to their health.