Expect Delay in Medicare Cash Flow Affecting Physician Compensation

The good news.  HR 3962 delays the 21% cut in the physician compensation based on the Medicare Physician Fee schedule until November 30, 2010, replacing it with a 2.2% increase to the fee schedule as of June 1, 2010.

Congress has passed, and the President has signed, HR 3962, the “Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010”. Preservation of Access to Care….what a nice title. How many more delays and temporary fixes until the so called “permanent fix” is going to be made?

The bad news is, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) are being told to delay claims processing until the update to the fee schedule is tested and loaded, so payments for services rendered on or after June 1 will not restart until around July 1.

MACs are supposed to reprocess claims already processed and paid at the lower level, so providers do not have to resubmit claims, but they will have to be on the lookout for additional payments and changes in adjustments.  This will also affect payments by secondary payors and patients. Physicians, medical groups and medical practice billing and healthcare consultants are again facing a real mess!

What I continue to tell our physician groups is: “It is more essential than ever before to become an efficient and effective practice operation! Be better than “best practices” benchmarks and standards!”

When you need proven expertise and performance

Dr. Gunter G. Fuchs

Dr. Gunter G. Fuchs has over 30 years of clinical, administrative, consulting, acute care operations, and strategic planning experience in domestic and international healthcare.

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2 thoughts on “Expect Delay in Medicare Cash Flow Affecting Physician Compensation

  1. Unfortunately, the Medicare debate and the whim of Congress is sending a message that Medicare is or will be very unreliable. Physicians who depend on Medicare by as much as 31% of income to cover expenses will (or are currently) questioning the wisdom of being providers of Medicare. Although the promise of a permanent “doc fix” is in the air, it has also been circulated that Medicare funding will be depleted by 2017. (and this was before 54billion dollars was removed from Medicare to fund other programs).
    Where will this leave Seniors? Where will this leave the rest of us?

  2. Very good observation! It is clearly a mess and the trust in Medicare’s future is getting weaker. And it could be such a good program. More bad news is that CMS just proposed to reduce preventive services by 6.1%, part of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010 on or after Jan. 1, 2011. Reform? What reform?