Gloves Off, Fourth and Fifteen…

Eric Cantor says the doc fix is a "must do."

Eric Cantor says the doc fix is a “must do.”

Good morning, ProviderNation.

The gloves are off, and the Lobbying-American community is playing hard ball. It’s fourth and 15, and they’re looking at a full-court press.

The Senate is readying a vote (perhaps as early as today) on its own version of the doc fix. The House passed its own version earlier this month, but used the bill for (yet) another assault on the GOP’s arch-nemesis.

That, of course, won’t fly in the Senate.

But the other reason the bill is being closely watched is because it (so far) has some sweeteners for long term and post-acute care providers, including repeals of the dread therapy caps.

That means, essentially, that the Senate has a real chance to frame discussion in conference between the two chambers. Last week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., sent a letter to fellow Republicans and told them that a doc fix is a “must do” before the March 31 deadline.

Handicappers say that the most likely course is that another patch will a-come because the job is just too complicated. Even if some version of a permanent reform passes Congress this week, it will still leave wide open the question of who gets the check.

Still, a lot of eyes will be on the Senate today.

In other news, a bill that would protect nursing home capital investors from personal-injury suits has cleared Florida’s Judiciary Committee (and Florida Health Care Association honcho Emmett Reed thinks it should go further than that); and writer Gerda Saunders sends a dispatch from dementia’s hellish dateline. (Bill Myers is Provider’s senior editor. Email him at wmyers@providermagazine.com. Follow him on Twitter, @ProviderMyers.)

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