CMS Postpones Processing of Medicare Claims Until June 18

By Government Relations Staff

June 15, 2010 — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have instructed Medicare Administrative Carriers (MACs) to postpone the processing of claims at a lower rate until Friday, June 18.

While the House of Representatives passed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 (HR 4213) on May 28, the Senate has been debating the legislation last week and this week.

HR 4213, a controversial tax extenders bill, includes a provision to block the 21.3 percent Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) cut retroactive to June 1, 2010 and through the end of 2011. The measure would provide a 2.2 percent update to provider payments for the rest of 2010 and an additional 1 percent for 2011.

The Medicare 'sustainable growth rate' or SGR payment formula ties Medicare provider payments to factors related to the national economy. In recent years, the formula would have operated automatically to cut most provider payments if Congress had not acted to postpone the scheduled payment cuts. The American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) continues to keep up the pressure for Congress to enact a permanent solution to the SGR payment formula. This is the third time that Congress has postponed the SGR cut this year alone.

The APAPO will keep members updated about emerging developments with postings in the Legal & Legislative Advocacy section of the Practice Central website and in the Practice Update e-newsletter.