If Medicare is cut at the beginning of 2013, doctors will see their Medicare payments drop 26.5%. But if the cut is delayed and doctors’ payments are frozen in place, the cost called the “doc fix”, would balloon to $25 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office. It had previously been estimated at $18.5 billion.
Now that the “fiscal cliff” looms ahead, Congress may not implement the “doc fix” for a year, as has been done before, but instead postpone the fix until March, and try to work out a solution then. House Republicans are pushing for the usual one-year fix, and are reasonably confident they can make it happen.