The Continuing Extension Act of 2010, enacted on April 15, 2010, prevented a 21.2% reduction in Medicare Part B payments by extending the 2009 rates through May 31, 2010. Because legislation was not passed to prevent the reduction, the 21.2% cut took effect June 1, 2010. There is a bill in Congress that would change the payment rate, but it has not yet been approved.
Initially, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has instructed its contractors to hold claims for services paid under the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for the first 10 business days of June. CMS has now extended that date to June 17, 2010. Any legislation that is passed by Congress would likely be retroactive to June 1, and CMS wants to avoid having to reprocess claims paid under the 21.2% reduction.
ASHA will keep members updated as to any progress in Congress on this issue. If you have any questions, contact Kate Romanow, ASHA's director of health care regulatory advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 800-498-2071, ext. 5671.