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Government News
Key Points of Budget Act for Physicians
Psychiatric News
Volume 46 Number 16 page 5-5
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  • Immediately establishes caps for discretionary spending from 2012 to 2021, with caps set at $1.043 trillion and $1.047 for 2012 and 2013, respectively.

  • Establishes a 12-member bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction consisting of six members each from the House and the Senate who must vote on a package of savings/revenues by November 23 and report out a bill to the House and Senate by December 2. If the Select Committee doesn't act, or the president or Congress fails to approve its recommendations, "automatic sequestration" (mandatory spending cuts) will begin in Fiscal 2013 that must achieve $1.2 trillion in savings from defense and nondefense funding over 10 years.

  • Social Security, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and Medicare funding are exempt from mandatory cuts, but Medicare funding for physicians, other health professionals, and institutional providers is not. However, in the case of sequestration, cuts in Medicare payment would be capped at 2 percent.

  • The bill does not address graduate medical education.

  • The current 5 percent positive payment "bump" for psychiatric CPT codes is still scheduled to expire on December 31.

  • The legislative process created by the budget deal makes it possible that reform of the Medicare payment formula could be approved as part of a massive bill aimed at restructuring federal spending. 5_2/inline-graphic-1.gif

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