President Obama signs the “Continuing Extension Act of 2010” reinstating 2009 Medicare physician payment rates

Chicago — (April 16, 2010) 

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.

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS

Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Join the ANESTHESIOLOGYTM 2014 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES2014.

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Contact:

American Society of Anesthesiologists
pr@asahq.org
847-825-5586