The Senate failed to act on The House bill to postpone the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Medicare Physician Fee Schedule cut. Therefore the mandatory 21.5% Medcare cut will happen on March1. Legislators have promised renewed efforts but there is no immediate relief in sight.
However, CMS is suggesting anpther 10 day hold to provide time to resolve this.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working with Congress, health care providers, and the beneficiary community to avoid disruption in the delivery of health care services and payment of claims for physicians, non-physician practitioners, and other providers of services paid under the Medicare physician fee schedule. As you are aware, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2010 provided a zero percent (0%) update to the 2010 MPFS effective for dates of service January 1, 2010, through February 28, 2010.
CMS believes Congress is working to avoid the negative update that will take effect March 1. Consequently, CMS has instructed its contactors to hold claims containing services paid under the MPFS for the first 10 business days of March. The holding of MPFS claims will only affect claims with dates of service March 1, 2010, and forward. This hold should have a minimum impact on provider cash flow because, under current law, clean electronic claims are not paid any sooner than 14 calendar days (29 for paper claims) after the date of receipt. Be on the alert for more information about the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Update.