Senate passes SGR patch and ICD-10 delayed another year
Source: Part B News
The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 keeps physician payments at current levels until April 1, 2015, instead of allowing a 20.1% pay cut to the physician fee schedule mandated by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
The bill awaits President Barack Obama's signature. Obama has vetoed only two bills in his presidency, and the White House has given no indication that he will veto this one.
The ICD-10 delay was a surprise to many, though it has long been on the wish list of top medical organizations. The AMA, for example, has called for a delay several times.
The bill "is a message to CMS that it's time to revisit how ICD-10 and other measures are rolled out – and that applies to any measure that requires system changes and the cooperation of trading partners," says Robert Tennant, senior policy adviser for the Medical Group Management Association in Washington, D.C.
The ICD-10 delay could go on longer than a year, Tennant notes. "The bill says the secretary 'may not, prior to Oct. 1, 2015, adopt ICD-10 code sets,'" he says. "So we have no compliance date. They could do it in 2015 or in 2016. It's an opportunity for a complete revisit of the issue to come up with an industry consensus on how to move forward, if at all."