Payment Matters: Job Creation Act Includes Key Medicare Payment Provisions

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On February 22, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Job Creation Act). Among other notable changes, the Job Creation Act prevents a substantial cut in Medicare physician payments under the sustainable growth rate (SGR) adjustment. Instead, physicians will continue to be paid with the zero percent payment update, enacted under the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 (Continuation Act) through December 31, 2012.

The Job Creation Act makes the following changes:

- Physician Payment Update – Section 3003 of the Job Creation Act extends the zero percent update for physician payments through the remainder of the calendar year, and thus averts the scheduled SGR payment cut. However, the law does not extend key sections of the Continuation Act, including the 5% Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) add-on for mental health payments and the special 2011 payment rates for bone mass measurement...

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