President Obama submits his fiscal year 2012 budget to Congress today. Early reports indicate that it will include a proposal to include $62 billion for payments to physicians who treat Medicare beneficiaries, a so called “Doc Fix”. These funds would be used to delay a scheduled 25% cut in payments under the Medicare physician fee schedule mandated by the Sustainable Growth Rate enacted by Congress back in 1997.
Those that follow these issues closely know that CMS and Congress wrestle with this issue every year. This year, reimbursement to physicians will also likely be considered in the context of House GOP efforts to repeal the Obama health care reform law by refusing to fund administration of those programs. It figures to be a contentious fight and one we will be following closely. Stay tuned.
The President’s budget also calls for a slight raise in the budget for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health to $32 billion for 2012.