« Penalty for unsucces... | Main | Medicare to begin ne... »

Monday Dec 23, 2013

A short reprieve from Medicare cuts and a little something extra, too

President Obama is expected to sign into law legislation that would grant physicians a reprieve from drastic cuts in their Medicare payments beginning on Jan. 1. The new law, adopted by the Congress last week, provides a 0.5 percent update to Medicare payments for the first three months of 2014 and avoids a 24 percent cut otherwise required under current law.

That action gives Congress three more months to complete its work on legislation that would repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate(www.cms.gov) (SGR) without further disruption to the Medicare program. Both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee (amending a bill produced by the House Energy and Commerce Committee) have overwhelmingly approved similar but not identical bills – the SGR Repeal and Medicare Beneficiary Access Act (S 1871) and the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act (HR 2810). The three-month extension of the Medicare physician fee schedule (with a 0.5-percent increase) means that the two committees have until March 31 to work out the differences in the bills.

In the meantime, physicians must make decisions about their Medicare participation status for 2014. Physicians wishing to change their Medicare participation or non-participation status for 2014 are required to do so by Jan. 31, 2014. Participation decisions are effective Jan. 1, 2014, even if made between then and Jan. 31, 2014, and are binding for the entire year. More information on physicians’ Medicare participation options is available on the AAFP web site.

– Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment for the American Academy of Family Physicians

Posted at 01:22PM Dec 23, 2013 by Brandi White

« Penalty for unsucces... | Main | Medicare to begin ne... »

CURRENT ISSUE

RECENT POSTS

SEARCH THIS BLOG


TOPICS

DISCLAIMER

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FPM or the AAFP. Some payers may not agree with the advice given. This is not a substitute for current CPT and ICD-9 manuals and payer policies. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.

FEEDS