President signs one-month SGR cut delay

by Government Relations Staff

November 30, 2010—President Obama signed legislation postponing the 23 percent Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) cut for an additional month through December 31, 2010. The Physician Payment and Therapy Relief Act of 2010 (HR 5712) passed the House by voice vote and the Senate by unanimous consent.

Since December 19, 2009, Congress has voted to postpone the SGR cut five times. The Medicare SGR payment formula, which adjusts Medicare provider payments based on factors related to the national economy, would have operated automatically to cut most provider payments if Congress had not acted yet again to postpone the scheduled cuts.

Halting the SGR cut and other Medicare payment reductions remains a top priority of the American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO).  Though Congress has temporarily prevented a massive cut to psychology payments, a longer term solution is necessary. 

APAPO continues to keep up the pressure for Congress to enact a permanent solution to the SGR payment formula. Legislators have indicated they will now begin negotiations on a bill to address the SGR for part or all of 2011 and that they intend to include extenders related to other Medicare payment provisions. 

With your help, APAPO will continue to press elected officials to enact the 5 percent psychotherapy payment restoration extension. Visit the Legislative Action Center at Practice Central to urge your legislators to take action on behalf of professional psychology.

APAPO will keep members updated about new developments and the need for grassroots support with postings on the Practice Central website and in the PracticeUpdate e-newsletter.