Last night, President Obama signed H.R. 4851, the ”Continuing Extension Act of 2010” into law. This legislation includes a reinstating of Medicare physician payment rates as they were on March 31, and postponing the 21 percent cut until May 31, 2010.
The bill was passed by the Senate by a vote of 59 – 38 yesterday evening and was subsequently passed by the House by a vote of 289 – 112 before it was sent to President Obama.
The hold on processing April claims that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had placed to avoid implementing the payment cut technically expired yesterday. However, with Congressional action so imminent, ASA does not believe many claims were processed at the lower payment rates. ASA has been informed by CMS that any claims paid that reflected the 21 percent cut will be reprocessed automatically without any action required from physicians.
ASA urges Congress to fully repeal the current SGR formula and implement a new Medicare physician payment update mechanism that accurately reflects the increasing annual costs of providing services to Medicare beneficiaries.