2012 Annual Participation Enrollment Program Extended
To better allow physicians to manage the uncertainty of threatened Medicare fee reductions slated for the 2012 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended the 2012 Annual Participation Enrollment Program. Fortunately, a two-month Congressional suppression of the mandated pay cut followed.
Physicians narrowly escaped a 27.4 percent reduction in Medicare rates that was scheduled to begin Jan. 1 after the House of Representatives returned from hiatus long enough to pass the Senate’s amended version of the House bill. The Senate bill extends the 0 percent update for just two months, through Feb. 29. The House bill would have averted the negative update for two years and provided a 1 percent update in 2012 and 2013.
The Medicare participation enrollment period will now end Feb. 14, 2012, instead of Dec. 31, 2011.
The effective date for any participation status change during the extension remains Jan. 1, 2012, however, and will be in force for the entire year.
Congress will reconvene mid-January and is expected to resume work on a bill that will further avert the negative update to the MPFS.