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Senate considers withholding payments to physicians who owe taxes

Physician Practice Advisor, May 9, 2007

The Senate is considering legislation aimed at withholding payments to doctors and other healthcare workers who owe federal taxes but still receive federal funds for treating Medicare patients, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The legislation was introduced by Senators Norm Coleman and Carl Levin after a congressional investigation revealed an estimated 21,000 providers who owed $1.3 billion in back taxes in the first nine months of 2005.

The new legislation would require that the Department of Health and Human Service's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services participate in the Federal Payment Levy Program, which levies payments to delinquent taxpayers from the federal government until the outstanding tax debt is paid.

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