January 2, 2013 – Legislation passed by Congress New Year’s Day to avert the dreaded “fiscal cliff” would stop a scheduled payment cut in Medicare physician payments. But hospitals, which have to bear a major part of financing for that “doc fix,” are not happy. The bill would require that, over the next decade, hospitals pick up nearly half of the approximately $30 billion cost of stopping a 26.5 percent payment cut for Medicare physicians, scheduled to begin today. The 26.5 percent reduction for doctors comes from a payment formula created in a 1997 deficit reduction law. For the first few years, doctors received modest pay increases.