CMS to Carriers: Process Doc Bills with 21.3% Cut

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Left with no other choice, CMS has instructed its carriers to lift the hold on processing physician claims submitted since June 1 and begin paying the bills with the 21.3% negative sustainable growth rate update. Before leaving town for the weekend, the Senate addressed the mounting physician reimbursement crisis by passing a bill that grants a 2.2% pay increase through November 30, 2010, and retroactive to June 1. However, the House is not scheduled for a floor vote until Tuesday, June 22, the soonest it could vote. The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010—HR 4213—is a $141 billion package that also granted a reprieve to recipients of unemployment insurance, extending the filing deadline for existing tiers of unemployment benefits until November 30, 2010, among other measures. It will generate $63 billion in revenue through closing tax loopholes that affect wealthy individuals and corporations. According to a notice on the web site of the American College of Radiology, CMS will retroactively adjust any June claims that have been paid if and when HR 4213 is passed by the House and signed by the president.