09 March 2010

March 2010- President's Message

March is certainly shaping up to be a very active month for Maryland optometry. Last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4691, a bill that includes extensions to several provisions that expired at the end of last month, including the 60-day reprieve from the 21.2% reduction in Medicare physician payments that was originally scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2010. Despite several attempts by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and an agreement by all other Senators, Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) objected to pass the same bill by unanimous consent., explaining that he wants the extensions paid for. The Senate has now adjourned and will reconvene on Capitol Hill this week. The 21.2% cut will therefore go into effect on Monday, March 1, 2010.

In addition, effective March 1, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has informed the medical specialty organizations that they are notifying their contractors to hold Medicare physician claims for 10 business days in order to give the Senate time to act.

As reported in the AOA advocacy report, heading-off this impending cut as well as advocating for long-term Medicare payment reform continue to be urgent priorities of the AOA. We will emphasize these points as we travel to Capitol Hill this week along with other optometrists and students from across the country for the AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference. We have meetings set up with our Maryland Senators and Congressmen to urge Congress to stop the massive 21% cut and approve lasting and equitable reform.

Please join us in this very important lobbying effort. Contact your Maryland Senator and Representative today… Or better yet, join us this Thursday in Washington to meet with them in person.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home