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Senator Russ Feingold

DECEMBER 8, 2006
1:38 PM

CONTACT: Senator Russ Feingold

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold On Ensuring Fair Medicare Reimbursement and Physician Payment Rates for Wisconsin

WASHINGTON - December 8 - U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) released the following statement after a bicameral legislative package on two critical physician payment issues was negotiated in Congress yesterday:

“The legislation expected to reach the Senate floor today would extend the fix to the physician work geographic cost index (GPCI) enacted in the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), and provide a 5.1% update to all physician payment under Medicare. The Medicare physician reimbursement rates are very important to the health care community and I am pleased to see that this will be addressed before the end of the 109th Congress. The extension of the geographic physician payment provision that passed in the MMA is an important issue for Wisconsin’s physicians. Under current Medicare law, Wisconsin physicians are paid less than physicians in other areas of the country—even though the work they do is identical. This provision helps address this inequity so that physicians who practice in states with large rural areas will not be at a disadvantage. I am pleased to see that Congress and the Senate Finance Committee have taken the right steps to ensure that Medicare dollars are more fairly distributed throughout the state of Wisconsin and our nation.”


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