On December 23, 2011, President Obama signed into law H.R. 3765, the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011.  Among other things, the law freezes Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) rates at 2011 levels through February 2012, temporarily averting a scheduled 27.4% cut under the statutory Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. The measure also extends for two months certain Medicare policies set to expire December 31, 2011, including: the floor used in the physician work geographic adjustment; the Medicare outpatient therapy cap exceptions process; payment for the technical component of certain physician pathology services; certain ambulance add-on payments; physician fee schedule mental health add-on payment; the outpatient hold harmless provision; minimum payment for bone mass measurement; the Qualified Individual program that reimburses states for certain Part B premiums; and the Transitional Medical Assistance program. The bill also extends for two months the authority for Medicare Modernization Act section 508 hospital reclassifications, with special rules for October and November 2011.  Note that the final version of the legislation does not include provisions adopted earlier by the House of Representatives to pay for a 2-year SGR fix through a variety of Medicare, Medicaid, and Affordable Care Act (ACA) cuts.  When Congress reconvenes, Congressional leaders are expected to tackle legislation to address these Medicare policies at least through 2012, although the outcome of such efforts is speculative at this point. Note that given the uncertainties associated with MPFS rates for 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending the 2012 Annual Participation Enrollment Period for health professionals through February 14, 2012 (although the effective date for any participation status change remains January 1, 2012 and will be in force for the entire year).