In the Spotlight
Medicare payment cut delayed until June
By Government Relations Staff
April 28, 2010 — On April 15, President Obama signed legislation postponing the 21.2 percent Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) cut for 2010 retroactive to April 1 through May 31. The Senate voted 59-38 to pass the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4851) after amending the bill to delay the cut through May 31. The House moved quickly to concur with the Senate amendment and send the bill to the President by a vote of 289-112.
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 has operated automatically to cut most provider payments. The April 15 law marks the third temporary postponement to the cut since the beginning of 2010.
The third postponement expired on April 1. Due to the two-week delay in congressional action, some claims from the first half of April may have been processed at 21.2 percent lower rates. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will reprocess any such claims and make payment adjustments based on the new law. Psychologists will not have to resubmit any claims paid at the lower rate.
Hundreds of psychologists around the country called their senators in support of stopping the cut. Lobbyists for the American Psychological Association Practice Organization discussed the issue as well at fundraising events for senators and will continue pressing for permanent repeal of the SGR law.