The vote is final. The House of Representatives and the Senate have passed the bill to delay scheduled cuts to physician payments under Medicare and delay the massive switch to ICD-10 billing codes. “So how does it affect abeo and our clients?” I’m sure it will come to no surprise to hear the full impact is yet to be determined. Briefly, here is why.

  1. It’s April 1 and physicians are not waking up to face a 24% cut in Medicare payments, but this is the 17th patch to Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula. This leads many to ask the question, “Will Congress repeal the SGR?” It’s still to hard to say, we expect the pain for providers and the drama of the SGR to continue.
  2. The switch to ICD-10 is delayed until at least October 1, 2015. The true length of the deadline is yet to be determined. Some even speculate it will never happen. Expect more insight to follow in the coming months as CMS, AMA and other large players discuss a different date that everyone can be on board with and agree on.

Only time will tell what comes next. abeo will continue to closely monitor the development of government policies and regulations. We strive to be as proactive as we can given the known and unknown variables and position ourselves to be respond to our clients needs and questions as policies change. Clients will be notified in the coming months of our revised timeline for ICD-10 Implementation and informed on adjustments made as the next deadline is determined.

Amongst these two delays, the bill also passed the following legislation:

  • Creates new Medicare policies to promote proper use of clinical diagnostic laboratory tests and treatments
  • A 0.5% Medicare bump in pay over a 12-month period
  • A 1 year extension to the 1.0 work Geographic Practice Cost Index (GPCI) floor and therapy cap exceptions process
  • Included “appropriate use” criteria for specific imaging services
  • A new process for identifying “misvalued codes” in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
  • Authorization of a multistate pilot program for raising the standards and improving the integration of care for mental health services
  • A delay in the requirement for hospitals to comply with the “two-midnight” rule for inpatient reimbursement
  • Delays, until March 2015, recovery audits of allegedly unnecessary claims

Read an update here on President Obama signing the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014.

abeo

abeo Management Corporation (abeo) serves as a leading source of revenue cycle management and practice management with a specialization in anesthesia. The company leverages its people, processes, and software to serve independent practices, surgery centers, hospitals and healthcare systems with a scope of services that include billing, coding, transcription, practice management, and business consulting.

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