Feds Plead With Congress to Pass ‘Doc Fix’ by April 15

The federal government is warning Congress that it must take action on Medicare’s “doc fix” issue before April 15 or thousands of Medicare doctors nationwide will face double-digit cuts.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) told providers Wednesday that it will hold onto their checks for two weeks after Congress missed its deadline to prevent a 21 percent payment cut that goes into effect Wednesday.

The agency can delay payments for up to 14 calendar days under current law to temporarily shield doctors from the cutbacks, a move that has also been endorsed by several members of Congress whose efforts at a deal fell short last week.

“Any delay in processing claims beyond April 15 would negatively impact providers’ cash flow,” a CMS official wrote in a statement.