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CMS to Hold Doc Payment Claims Through June 17



CMS to Hold Doc Payment Claims Through June 17

According to CQ congressional new service, Medicare won't begin processing claims cutting payments to physicians by 21 percent until Friday, June 18, giving Congress a few more days to get its act together.


The 21 percent cut went into effect June 1 but CMS has used its administrative authority to delay processing claims for 10 business days, in effect fending off the payment cut through June 14.


At issue are claims for services provided on June 1 or later.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a statement Monday morning saying it is "hopeful that congressional action will be taken within the next several days to avert the negative update."


Both Republicans and Democrats oppose the payment cut but are at loggerheads over offsets. President Obama took a swipe at Senate Republicans during his Saturday radio address on June 12: " After years of voting to defer these cuts, the other party is now willing to walk away from the needs of our doctors and our seniors," he said.


"I urge Republicans in the Senate to at least allow a majority of senators and congressmen to stop this pay cut," Obama said.


However, Republicans say it's time to stop adding to the deficit by not fully offsetting the cost of averting the cuts by trimming spending elsewhere in the federal budget.


While holding the claims keeps the 21 percent cut at bay, it also means physician offices go without reimbursement, albeit at the lower level.


"We understand that the delayed processing of Medicare claims may present cash flow problems for some Medicare providers," CMS said in its statement "However, we expect that the delay, if any, beyond the normal processing period will be only a few days."

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