<p align=”left”>The negative 21% payment rate adjustment under current law for the <span class=”il”>Medicare</span> Physician Fee Schedule is scheduled to take effect on <span class=”aBn” tabindex=”0″ data-term=”goog_2117950098″>April 1, 2015</span>. CMS is taking steps to limit the impact on <span class=”il”>Medicare</span> providers and beneficiaries by holding claims for a short period of time beginning on April 1st. Holding claims for a short period of time allows CMS to implement any subsequent Congressional action while minimizing claims reprocessing and disruption of physician cash flow in the event of legislation addressing the 21% payment reduction. Under current law, electronic claims are not paid sooner than 14 calendar days (29 days for paper claims) after the date of receipt. As we stated in our recent <a href=”https://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTUwNDAxLjQzNzAzNTQxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE1MDQwMS40MzcwMzU0MSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE3NDI3Nzg4JmVtYWlsaWQ9YXJpZWxAbWxiaWxsaW5nLmNvbSZ1c2VyaWQ9YXJpZWxAbWxiaWxsaW5nLmNvbSZmbD0mZXh0cmE9TXVsdGl2YXJpYXRlSWQ9JiYm&&&100&&&https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/FFSProvPartProg/Downloads/2015-03-24-standalone.pdf” target=”_blank”>email</a> to physicians, CMS will provide more information about next steps by <strong><span class=”aBn” tabindex=”0″ data-term=”goog_2117950099″>April 11, 2015</span>.</strong></p>
<p align=”left”>In addition to the <span class=”il”>Medicare</span> Physician Fee Schedule adjustment, other provisions affecting providers will also expire by April 1, including exceptions to the outpatient therapy caps, add-on payments for ambulance services, payments for low volume hospitals, and payments for <span class=”il”>Medicare</span> dependent hospitals. These provisions include:</p>
<p align=”left”><strong>Exceptions process for <span class=”il”>Medicare</span> Part B outpatient therapy caps</strong>—These caps are the annual per beneficiary cap amounts for occupational therapy and for physical therapy and speech-language pathology services combined, determined for each calendar year. Based on current law, exceptions to the therapy caps, which are allowed for reasonable and necessary therapy services above the caps, will be considered only for dates of service through March 31, 2015.</p>
<p align=”left”>CMS must take steps to implement the negative update and the expiration of the other provisions noted above. Providers should remember that claims for services furnished on or before March 31, 2015 are not affected by the payment cut and will be processed and paid under normal time frames. We are working to limit any impact to <span class=”il”>Medicare</span> providers and beneficiaries as much as possible.</p>
<strong>WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?</strong>
We are optimistic payments will resume within 2 weeks, as they did at the start of 2015 when CMS made a similar decision to hold payments for a legislative decision. We are not holding your claims. All claims will be filed within the normal time frame to Medicare. Holding them would result in the processing time, usually about 14 days, beginning at the time of submission. By submitting now, payments will be released immediately when the hold is lifted and will not be held for an additional 14 day processing period.
If you have questions, please contact your State Medical Association, CMS or your ML Account Manager.
Read more about <a href=”https://mlbilling.com/21-medicare-reduction-repeal-bill-passed/”>Medicare changes</a>