The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said it will hold physician claims for 14 calendar days, thereby delaying 21% rate cuts otherwise set to take effect Wednesday.
While long-term care professionals have at least two more weeks to agonize over the fate of a bill that would permanently repeal the current Medicare physicians funding formula, a host of other key funding "extenders" set to expire also hang in the balance.
As expected, the House of Representatives on Thursday repealed the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), earning loud praise from the American Health Care Association.
Praise for Congress for proposing a bill that would reset Medicare physician pay rates could be a little less hearty, after details emerged Tuesday that the measure would also include penalties as high as 100% for providers delinquent with income tax payments.
Leaders of the nation's two largest long-term care associations spoke favorably Monday about a bill that would improve Medicare physician pay rates while moderately restricting LTC pay. In fact, the head the American Health Care Association said the group will "enthusiastically support" a bill that would end the "doc fix" issue, provided the final language is what it expects.
Providers using incompatible or uncertified electronic health record systems by the end of 2018 could face reduced Medicare reimbursements under a bill introduced Thursday in both houses of Congress.
The "doc fix" that ends the Sustainable Growth Rate formula drew at least one long-term leader's sharp criticism. The $213 billion deal, which is still to be voted on in both houses, will be partially financed by $35 billion in cuts to Medicare beneficiaries' benefits.
Long-term care providers are closely monitoring two major lawmaking efforts in Washington this week that have both chambers of Congress debating a plan to end annual Medicare cuts and abolish painful "fixes" to the Medicare physician payment formula.
The Winter Legislative and Regulatory Conference of the National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care takes place Monday through Wednesday in Washington. In addition to Congressional visits, the gathering will feature an address by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the vice chairwoman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, as well as Marc Hartstein, a director from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
As far as skilled care is concerned, most recent reporting on a major Medicare bill has all but overlooked what's in the bill for the sector. And it's not trivial.
Bill affecting skilled nursing facility payments, ICD-10 deadline passes House in controversial voteMarch 28, 2014
A bill linking skilled nursing facilities' Medicare payments to hospital readmissions passed the House of Representatives Thursday, through a voting method that provoked outrage from some legislators. The measure also would extend the ICD-10 transition period and prevent a looming physician pay cut.
Long-term care and physician groups may be headed for an impasse when it comes to fixing Medicare's system for paying doctors.
Bipartisan leaders from the Senate and House announced legislation Thursday to replace Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate formula for physician payments. Two major long-term care industry groups called it a step in the right direction.
I've recently drawn up my plans for the winter, and I'm very excited about what's in store! I'd like to share my ideas with you and get some feedback. Let's call this the "Winter 2014 Agenda: Discussion Draft."
Provider groups are urging lawmakers to address outpatient therapy payments in addition to fixes to Medicare's physician payment system, according to Cynthia Morton, executive vice president of the National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care.
Freeze nursing home doctor pay for 10 years, replace Sustainable Growth Rate system, Senate Finance Committee toldMay 15, 2013
Medicare rates for physician visits to nursing homes should be frozen for 10 years as the government replaces the Sustainable Growth Rate system, a Medicare Payment Advisory Commission official advised the Senate Finance Committee.
A newly proposed bill in the U.S. House would extend Medicare physician payment rates for one year while legislators work to devise a more manageable alternative to the existing formula.
So here's a Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) 101 primer so you will understand why I am so upset.