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. Unless Congress takes action, the 21.2% reduction is scheduled to take place June 1, 2010. There is a bill in Congress that would prevent this reduction, but it may not be approved before the reduction goes into effect.
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. 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. This hold should have minimum impact on providers because electronic claims are not paid sooner than 14 calendar days, and paper claims are not paid sooner than 29 calendar days.
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.