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Providing Exception To Limit On Medicare Reciprocal Billing Arrangements

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


PROVIDING EXCEPTION TO LIMIT ON MEDICARE RECIPROCAL BILLING ARRANGEMENTS

Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 2429) to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide an exception to the 60-day limit on Medicare reciprocal billing arrangements between two physicians during the period in which one of the physicians is ordered to active duty as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces.

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I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this legislation. I thank my good friend from California (Mr. Thompson) for sponsoring it. This legislation is necessary to ensure that our Nation's doctors, who are brave enough to serve their country in a time of war, have a medical practice to serve in when they come home.

Currently, Medicare allows for a physician who is ordered to active duty as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces to enter into a 60-day billing arrangement with another physician. These arrangements allow for physicians to maintain their practices while they go off to take care of our soldiers in combat.

Unfortunately, what we are finding is that they are often away longer than 60 days, which puts them at odds with the current Medicare antifraud rules. This legislation fixes that problem by lifting the 60-day limit currently in place, and allowing a physician who is called to active duty to find a substitute physician to watch over his patients for as long as he or she is deployed.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. Speaker, I would just say again, this is a temporary measure. We have these brave men and women who are leaving to care for our troops in Iraq, we're in a time of war, and I think it's just a very special circumstance right now. So I would urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support passage.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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