President Obama signed into law the "Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010." This law establishes a 2.2% update to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) payment rates retroactive from June 1 through November 30, 2010. The legislation was passed in the Senate on June 18 by a unanimous voice vote; House legislation passed by a vote of 417–1.
A 21.2% payment reduction took effect in June, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has directed its contractors to discontinue processing claims at this rate and to temporarily hold claims for services rendered on or after June 1, 2010 until the new 2.2% update is tested by the contractors. CMS and the contractors are currently working to ensure appropriate implementation of the 2.2% update and it is anticipated that claims will be processed at the new rate no later than July 1.
For additional information regarding congressional action on this issue, please contact Ingrida Lusis, ASHA's director of federal and political affairs, at email@example.com. For information regarding CMS claims processing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.