Senate panel working on end-of-the-year Medicare fixes

The Senate Finance Committee is working on several Medicare payment updates that it hopes to pass by unanimous consent before year's end, congressional and lobbyist sources tell The Hill.

Nothing has been decided, however, and a Republican Finance Committee aide said Wednesday that "the latest from our end is that there isn't a package."

"We're looking at consensus provisions that didn’t make it in [last week's year-long 'doc fix' bill] that are worthy of consideration before we close up shop," the aide told The Hill. "No decisions of substance or process have been made."

The office of Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) refused to comment. 

Provisions under consideration, according to lobbyists tracking the issue, include:

• An adjustment to payments for end-stage renal disease treatment;

• An adjustment to payments for Community Health Centers;

• A demonstration program for reimbursements for intravenous immune globulin; 

• A formula change to cancer hospital reimbursements;

• A hospice regulatory provision;

• A retro-active adjustment to Medicare's geographic pricing index; and

• A fix to federal funding for Graduate Medical Education and teaching hospitals.

The combined provisions could add up to more than $200 million, according to lobbyists.