Congress Moves Closer to Settling Physician Pay Debate
A dollar short and a day late, the Senate passed its version of the Continuing Extension Act (HR 4851) on April 15. The Senate’s version would “freeze” Medicare pay rates to physicians at the zero percent update through May 31.
The previous extension expired March 31, but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) put a 10-day hold on claims through April 14.
The bill may now proceed to a conference committee of senators and representatives to work out differences in the versions of the bill each chamber approved. The bill then goes to the president before becoming law.
Presently, all claims with dates of service on or after April 1 will be processed at the reduced rate. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), however, CMS will reprocess and adjust payments for any claims processed at rates reflecting the 21.3 percent cut without physicians having to take any additional action.
AAPC will keep you apprised of the situation as it unfolds.