Medicare Physician Payments Cut 21% TODAY

Congress has adjourned for a two-week spring recess without taking action to stop the 21.3% cut to Medicare physician payments.  This means that this cut takes effect today, April 1, 2010.

The NCMS has been advised by our Congressional Delegation that the Senate plans to hold a cloture vote after the recess, which , if supported by 60 Senators, will allow a vote to delay this cut.  That vote could occur as early as April 12, 2010.

Consequently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has instructed its contractors to hold claims containing services paid under the MPFS (including anesthesia services) for the first 10 business days of April.  This hold will only affect claims with dates of service April 1, 2010, and forward.  CMS believes the hold should have minimum impact on provider cash flow because, under the current law, clean electronic claims are not paid any sooner than 14 calendar days (29 for paper claims) after the date of receipt. 

The NCMS has remained actively engaged in discussion with our Congressional delegation to support a permanent fix to the flawed Medicare physician payment formula and will continue to push for this change until action is taken.

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3 Comments

  • mark Le

    We will not take medcare patient any more then

  • Robert A. Appel, MD

    As Dirty Harry said, “Go ahead, make my day”. If this is not rescinded, I am prepared to drop Medicare, which will actually simplify my life.

  • Esther Poza MD

    This is especially awkward for those few of us who do not accept assignment (aka non-participating) with Medicare. The on-again, off-again 21% change undoubtedly affects the limiting charge, which is what we use, but we get no official or unofficial information on how to handle our fees.