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STATLINE
April 16, 2010
© 2010 College of American Pathologists
 
Special Report
Physician Pay Cut Postponed till
June 1, 2010

Last night, Congress passed and President Obama has signed a Medicare physician payment bill that extends the 2009 physician payment rate through May 31, 2010, again postponing the 21.3% cut that was supposed to take effect in 2010.

This most recent extension of 2009 payment rates will continue through the end of May, and will be applied retroactively to all physician services provided to Medicare patients in April. The legislation passed the Senate at about 5:45 last night by a bipartisan vote of 59-38, and subsequently passed the House shortly after 8:00 pm by a bipartisan vote of 289-112.

Yesterday, the hold on processing April claims that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had placed to avoid implementing the payment cut technically expired. However, with Congressional action so imminent, we do not believe many claims were actually processed at the lower payment rates. However, physician groups have been informed that any claims paid that reflected the 21.3 percent cut will be reprocessed automatically without any action required from physicians.

Statline will continue to follow this important issue and keep CAP members informed.

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