President Directs Quick HHS Action To Implement Physician Medicare Payment Restoration

President Obama on June 25, 2010 signed the Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010 (H.R. 3962), which grants physicians temporary relief from cuts to Medicare reimbursements to physicians until November 30, 2010.

The provisions of H.R. 3962 delay a scheduled 21.3% cut to Medicare physician payments until Nov. 30, 2010.

Coincident with his signature of H.R. 3962, President Obama also directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to take steps to minimize any disruption to, or administrative burden on, Medicare physicians and other affected providers and to minimize any disruption in the ability of Medicare beneficiaries to access necessary services by:

  • Directing the Medicare claims administration contractors to immediately implement the legislative update to the physician fee schedule conversion factor;
  • Providing all appropriate resources for the Medicare claims administration contractors to ensure the update is implemented as rapidly as possible;
  • Directing the Medicare claims administration contractors to automatically reprocess, to the extent feasible, any claims reflecting the 21.3 percent fee schedule reduction, in order to relieve the administrative burden on physician practices;
  • Take all necessary steps, to the extent permitted by law, to protect Medicare beneficiaries from any disruption to their access to services that may be occasioned by the reprocessing of claims; and
  • Reopen the 2010 Annual Participation Enrollment Program through July 16, 2010, to allow physicians and other affected providers an additional opportunity to participate in Medicare.

While H.R. 3962 provides welcome relief for physicians, the 6-month period of the delay means physicians will again face Medicare reimbursement cutbacks later this year unless Congress can be persuaded to enact a more permanent extension.  The Medical Group Management Association and other physician organizations are continuing to urge physicians to encourage Congress to enact this more permanent relief.  See here.

The author of this update, attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, has extensive experience advising and assisting health care providers and other health industry clients with reimbursement, compliance, public policy, regulatory, staffing, and other operations and risk management matters. You can get more information about her health industry experience here.   If you need assistance with these or other compliance concerns, wish to inquire about arranging for compliance audit or training, or need legal representation on other matters please contact Ms. Stamer at (469) 767-8872 or via e-mail here

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For More Information

We hope that this information is useful to you.  If you need assistance evaluating or responding to the Health Care Reform Law or health care compliance, risk management, transactional, operational, reimbursement, or public policy concerns, please contact the author of this update, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, at (469) 767-8872,

Vice President of the North Texas Health Care Compliance Professionals Association, Past Chair of the ABA Health Law Section Managed Care & Insurance Section and the former Board Compliance Chair of the National Kidney Foundation of North Texas, Ms. Stamer has more than 23 years experience advising health industry clients about these and other matters.  A popular lecturer and widely published author on health industry and human resources matters, Ms. Stamer continuously advises health industry clients about these and other related concerns.  Ms. Stamer also publishes and speaks extensively on health and managed care industry regulatory, staffing and human resources, compensation and benefits, and other operations and risk management concerns.  Her insights on these and other related matters appear in the Health Care Compliance Association, Atlantic Information Service, Bureau of National Affairs, World At Work, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insurance, the Dallas Morning News, Modern Health Care, Managed Healthcare, Health Leaders, and a many other national and local publications.  For additional information about Ms. Stamer, her experience, involvements, programs or publications, see here.  

You can review other recent health care and internal controls resources and additional information about the health industry and other experience of Ms. Stamer here.  If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail – by creating or updating your profile at here or e-mailing this information here. To unsubscribe, e-mail here.

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