The U.S. House of Representatives on March 26 easily passed legislation to repeal and replace the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate reimbursement mechanism for physicians. The bill did not include language to extend the ICD-10 deadline, as the Rules Committee report to the House floor forbid the adoption of amendments.

The Senate surprisingly did not consider the bill before leaving for a two-week recess. Because Medicare takes about 14 days to pay claims, physicians may not see much of a change in reimbursement if the Senate quickly takes up the SGR after the recess, says Jeff Smith, vice president of public policy at the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

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