The federal government has temporarily shut down following Congressional disputes over ongoing funding. ASA has spoken with government officials who have said that under the shutdown Medicare claims processing should not be impacted in the short term because the claims processing is performed by private contractors outside of the federal government.
The shutdown occurred because Congress failed to pass annual funding bills for Fiscal Year 2014 (federal Fiscal Years run from October 1 to September 30). In recent years, funding for the federal government has occurred through a series of short-term funding mechanisms known as Continuing Resolutions (CRs). For government operations to resume, Congress must reach agreement on either the annual funding bills or another short-term CR, the duration of which they may decide.
Separate from the CR, in approximately two weeks, Treasury officials report the nation's debt ceiling, or borrowing limit, will be reached. Precedent requires Congressional approval to increase the debt ceiling, otherwise the government may default.
ASA staff is closely monitoring both situations.
Department of Health and Human Services contingency staffing memorandum.