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
According to several Congressional leaders, preventing a 21% cut in Medicare Physician Fee Schedule payments in 2015 under the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula remains the top healthcare priority for Congress this year. The latest SGR cut is scheduled to take effect when the current short-term patch expires at midnight on March 31st.
On April 30th, the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to solicit input from the HHS Inspector General’s office (OIG), CMS and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on ways to improve Medicare oversight and reduce waste, fraud and abuse. Gloria Jarmon, Deputy Inspector General for Audit Services, Office of Inspector General, testified on behalf of HHS; Shantanu Agrawal, M.D., Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Program Integrity, testified on behalf of CMS; and Kathy King, Director, Health Care testified on behalf of GAO.
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.