July 17, 2008
New 2008 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Payment Rates
The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 was
enacted on July 15, 2008. As a result, the mid-year 2008 Medicare
Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) rate of -10.6 percent has been replaced
with a 0.5 percent update, retroactive to July 1, 2008.
non-physician practitioners and other providers of services paid under
the MPFS should begin to receive payment at the 0.5 % update rates in
approximately 10 business days, or less. Medicare contractors are
currently working to update their payment system with the new rates.
Some carriers may already have posted the new, correct rates, but
others could take a week or more.
the meantime, to avoid a disruption to the payment of claims for
physicians, non-physician practitioners and other providers of services
paid under the MPFS, Medicare contractors will continue to process the
claims that have been on hold on a rolling basis (first in/first out)
for payment at the -10.6% update level. After your local contractor
begins to pay claims at the new 0.5% rate, to the extent possible, the
contractor will begin to automatically reprocess any claims paid at the
Under the Medicare
statute, Medicare pays the lower of submitted charges or the Medicare
fee schedule amount. Claims with dates of service July 1 and later
billed with a submitted charge at least at the level of the January 1 –
June 30, 2008, fee schedule amount will be automatically reprocessed.
Any lesser amount will require providers to contact their local
contractor for direction on obtaining adjustments. Non-participating
physicians who submitted unassigned claims at the reduced
nonparticipation amount also will need to request an adjustment.
Contractor websites are being updated with the new rates and these should be available shortly.
Be aware that any published MLN Matters articles affected by the new law will be revised or rescinded as appropriate.
Finally, be on the alert for more information about other legislative provisions which may affect you.
Further instructions regarding other provisions of MIPPA will be forthcoming.