Medicare claims will not be processed the first 10 business days of
March 2010 while Congress works on a fix for the dreaded 21% pay cut
which officially takes place today.
A temporary measure to extend the January 1-February 28
freeze for another month passed the house, but was killed in a Senate
filibuster. The Senate had issues with the bill that passed the House of
Representatives late last week. The House bill included an extension of
unemployment benefits among other things. Beginning Monday March 1,
this issue is again on the table (official Congressional docket).
However, with a Circuit Court Judge nomination pending, it is unlikely
that much will happen until later in the week.
On Friday, February 26, 2010, the Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid Services issued the following statement:
"The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
(CMS) is working with Congress, health care providers, and the
beneficiary community to avoid disruption in the delivery of health care
services and payment of claims for physicians, non-physician
practitioners, and other providers of services paid under the Medicare
physician fee schedule (MPFS). The Department of Defense Appropriations
Act of 2010 provided a zero percent (0%) update to the 2010 MPFS
effective for dates of service January 1, 2010, through February 28,
We believe Congress is working to avoid the
negative update that will take effect March 1, 2010. Consequently, CMS
has instructed its contractors to hold claims containing services paid
under the MPFS for the first 10 business days of March. The holding of
MPFS claims will only affect claims with dates of service March 1, 2010,
and forward. This hold should have a minimum impact on provider cash
flow because, under current law, clean electronic claims are not paid
any sooner than 14 calendar days (29 for paper claims) after the date of
As of today, let's hope for a happy resolution and plan
for a fee freeze. In the meantime, you may wish to NOT submit claims to
Medicare for a few days. If you do submit a claim, it will not be
processed until the fee problem has been resolved.
We will keep our website updated. If any changes are made
to the payment system, ChiroCode Institute will update our products
with these changes as they become available.