by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Bulletin Volume 14, Number 2
In the final days of 2011, Congress passed and President Obama signed a payroll tax extension bill (public law 112-078) which delayed for two months the 27% Medicare pay cut due to the SGR formula. The American Medical Association reports however, that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has confirmed that all of the other changes that were included in the Medicare physician payment final rule for 2012 will still take effect. Therefore, physicians should not expect that payment rates will remain unchanged. Numerous changes are being made in the relative value units, Geographic Practice Cost Indexes, electronic prescribing and quality reporting programs, and multiple procedure payment rules for 2012. All of these changes will take effect as scheduled for dates of service beginning Jan. 1, 2012.
Because Congress acted so late in 2011 to prevent the SGR cut, CMS indicates claims must still be held for a period of time to allow CMS to develop the new payment rate files and the Medicare claims administration contractors time to install and test the files. CMS anticipates that most contractors will be able to process claims under the revised rates by Jan. 18, 2012 and contractors are expected to have the new rates posted to their web sites by Jan. 11.
For more information please see the CMS website at: http://www.cms.gov/PhysicianFeeSched/PFSRVF/itemdetail.asp?filterType=none&filterByDID=-99&sortByDID=1&sortOrder=descending&itemID=CMS1255291&intNumPerPage=10
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