Temporary measure extends therapy caps exceptions, longer fix could be coming

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Nursing home company reaches $2.7 million settlement in therapy billing case
Nursing home company reaches $2.7 million settlement in therapy billing case

Although providers are happy the Medicare Part B therapy caps exceptions process was extended through March 31 earlier this week, they're now pressing for a longer extension. A bill that could extend the exceptions process until the end of the year is currently being debated among lawmakers.

The Temporary Extension Act of 2010 was approved Tuesday and contains provisions that both extend the therapy caps exceptions process and delay the 21.2% cut to Medicare physician pay until the end of the month. The exceptions process expired on Jan. 1 of this year but the current fix is valid retroactive to that date. For the last two months, many providers have been either holding claims or, in some cases, charging beneficiaries for services rendered after the reimbursement cap was exceeded. Regulators are now urging therapy providers to submit held claims or contact their Medicare contractors for claims adjustments, as well as refund beneficiary expenses for services that are now reimbursable under the exceptions process.

Another bill, the American Workers, State and Business Relief Act, would extend the exceptions process through Dec. 31. It is currently up for consideration in the Senate. A vote on it could come next week.