An Academy-supported proposal to pay for a permanent Medicare physician pay fix is gaining momentum, despite mixed reviews in two Congressional Budget Office reports. The Academy advocates paying the $300 billion cost to permanently repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula used to calculate Medicare physician pay with part of an $800 billion surplus in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund. The surplus results from reduced spending for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. While the CBO acknowledges the large surplus in the fund, it says Congress must determine if those funds can be used to pay for the Medicare physician pay fix.
Physicians participating in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 2011 Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program have until Feb. 29 to submit their "meaningful use" data.
Lawmakers are considering the possibility of paying for a long-term Medicare physician payment solution by reallocating war funding that is no longer needed,an idea that has gained the support of the American Medical Association and more than 100 state and specialty medical societies.
The 27 percent Medicare physician pay cut slated to hit March 1 has been stopped, as an agreement was reached on February 16, by the joint House and Senate committee formed to negotiate an extension to the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will delay the October 1, 2013, implementation deadline for transitioning from ICD-9 to ICD-10.
A proposed rule released today by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services includes criteria that will allow ophthalmologists to continue to succeed in the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program. The rule defines the second stage of “meaningful-use” requirements of an EHR system that physicians must demonstrate to qualify for the Medicare incentive. Meaningful use is defined in stages, with each stage requiring more-advanced use of EHR technology.
The 10-month delay of cuts to Medicare physician payment rates leaves Congress in what some see as its toughest spot to date when it comes to preventing deep pay reductions.
A significant number of physician practices may already or could soon face serious cash-flow issues, due to non-compliance with new HIPAA 5010 data standards that went into effect Jan. 1. CMS has delayed enforcement to March 31 from Jan. 1, but only a few weeks remain in the enforcement extension. Although it appears that CMS will delay implementation of ICD-10, there is no indication that the HIPAA 5010 deadlines will change. Assume that enforcement will begin April 1.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Office of E-Health Standards and Services (OESS) is announcing that it will not initiate enforcement action for an additional three (3) months, through June 30, 2012, against any covered entity that is required to comply with the updated transactions standards adopted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA): ASC X12 Version 5010 and NCPDP Versions D.0 and 3.0.
Physician practices have until April 1 to transition to HIPAA 5010 data standards.