Deadlocked Congress warned Medicare claims can't be delayed for long

As a result, the agency told doctors on Monday that it would hold their claims for 10 business days while waiting for Congress to avert the looming payment cut, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

The Senate approved a temporary "doc fix" that delays the cuts for two months as part of a larger payroll tax cut package. House Republican leaders rejected the Senate's package on Tuesday and are still clamoring for longer-term action on the payroll tax cut and the doc fix.