With the approaching deadline for enactment of an SGR fix, the similarities to last year’s situation has not been lost on many people when it comes to the possibility that Congress will once again step in to delay the October 1, 2015 effective date for adoption and use of ICD-10 codes.
Medical Billing Blog
On August 22 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would instruct Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to hold three acknowledgement testing weeks for providers to prepare for the switch to ICD-10.
More hospitals are planning to outsource coding efforts in the coming year, according to a new survey published by Black Book Rankings.
As has been previously reported, on April 1, 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 was signed into law by President Obama after swift passage by the House and Senate. Language was included in this legislation that prohibited the Secretary of Health and Human Services from mandating use of ICD-10 PRIOR to October 1, 2015.
As has been previously reported, on April 1, 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 was enacted, which specified that the Secretary may not adopt ICD-10 prior to October 1, 2015. This left some uncertainty as to what the new date would be exactly.
On Tuesday, March 4, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the President’s budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. This budget is not a binding document and will likely result in no real action. The President’s budget is considered an indication of the President’s priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. It is important to understand the budget because certain provisions of it may be included in future proposals and legislation.
The United States Senate has joined the House of Representatives and passed legislation to prevent a 24% cut in physician fee schedule payments from occurring today as previously scheduled. Instead, Medicare physician fee schedule payments will continue to be paid as they have been for the past 3 months. Although the legislation must be signed by the President in order to become effective, the President has indicated that he will sign this legislation once it reaches his desk.
Yesterday, by a voice vote, the House of Representatives passed legislation postponing the 24% physician fee schedule cut slated to take effect on April 1, 2014. However, the legislation went well beyond just temporarily fixing the SGR problem, it also made a number of other changes that will have long-lasting implications. A listing of those changes is at the end of this message.
The AMA has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to reconsider mandating the switch to ICD-10 on October 1, 2014. In remarks delivered February 27th at the 2014 HIMSS Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner publicly rejected that call. “There are no more delays and the system, will go live on Oct 1.” Tavenner said.